Introduction to Food and Drink
The UK food and drink industries contain many world leaders, but the need to secure competitive improvement has never been more important. Defra continues to work closely with individual sectors and key businesses to foster and promote greater competitiveness and to remove obstacles to growth. Defra also works with the sector to help achieve sustainable development, through the widespread adoption of best practice, and to help work towards better regulation of the industry.
31 December 2007: Two parallel consultations were launched, the first overing draft proposals for better defining the Scotch whisky geographical indication, and the second on sirit drinks covering enforcement provisions for the new EC Regulation due to come into force in 2008.
The Food and Drink pages on our site have been divided into the following subject areas:
Help with marketing - describes the incentives which Defra offers to improve marketing at home and abroad
Help with exporting/importing - covers exports and trade in various products and services, including Services to Exporters and other export promotion work of Defra's Agri-food Exports Division. Also Illegal imports.
Eggs and poultry - provides general guidance and reference information for the eggs and poultry sectors, including regulatory and market information, and links to other poultry-related organisations
Milk and milk products - provides information on milk production and marketing policy
Beef labelling - provides guidance and information for the compulsory EU beef labelling system
Competition - information on competition in the grocery retailing sector
Regional and local foods - provides information on the regional and local food and drink sector as well as guidance on European Union regulations for the protection of food names on a geographical or traditional basis
Food and drink industry - information for the Food & Drink Industry
Organic production - information on the organic sector, including certification and imports
Innovation, technology transfer and research grants - information on Defra programmes, available on the Defra Sustainable farming and food science website
- Our Grants and funding section.
- Food safety and standards issues are the responsibility of the Food Standards Agency. Food information previously held on this site can now be found on the Food Standards Agency website.
- The Year of Food and Farming in education
Announced on 29 November 2006, this an initiative aimed at helping children and young people learn more about how food is grown and produced and how it reaches the consumer. The industry led initiative will run through the academic year from September 2007 to July 2008.
- Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative (PSFPI)
The PSFPI supports the Sustainable Farming and Food Strategy for England with its aim of delivering a world-class sustainable farming and food sector that contributes to better environment and healthier and prosperous communities. The PSFPI's five priority objectives are to: (1) raise production and process standards; (2) increase tenders from small and local producers; (3) increase consumption of healthy and nutritious food; (4) reduce adverse environmental impacts of production and supply; (5) increase capacity of small and local suppliers to meet demand
- Food Industry Sustainability
The Food Industry Sustainability Strategy (FISS), drawn up with the aid of a Stakeholder Group, sets out how all those involved in the food and drink industry beyond the farm gate in England can, through the widespread adoption of best practice, help achieve sustainable development. The FISS was launched by the Secretary of State on 26 April 2006, seenews release 176/06.
- Review of food chain initiatives (PDF 600 KB) March 2007
- Food chain productivity incorporating external impacts - a report by SAC Commercial Ltd commissioned by Defra - published 24 May 2006
- As part of the Food Industry Sustainability Strategy, Defra commissioned research from AEA Technology to review the validity of 'Food Miles' as an indicator for sustainability. This research,The Validity of Food Miles as an Indicator of Sustainable Development - published 15 July 2005.
Page last modified: 31 December 2007