The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and a number of trade unions have joined together for the first time to commend the efforts of all those in the food and drink manufacturing working to maintain the UK’s food security.
In a joint statement, the FDF, along with Unite, Usdaw, Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) and GMB, highlight the critical importance of working together at this exceptionally demanding time to ensure our workforce is safe, protected and respected.
As the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, food and drink employs 430,000 people in every part of the country.
The statement highlights the good practice underway in many workplaces, including social distancing and hygiene standards, and support for the workforce. By continuing to work constructively together, our factories can continue to produce the food and drink we need to feed the people of the United Kingdom.
“If you can’t feed a country, you don’t have a country. Workers in food and drink are the hidden heroes, making everyday sacrifices so fellow citizens can access the food and drink they want and need.”
Ian Wright CBE, chief executive of the FDF said: “If you can’t feed a country, you don’t have a country. Workers in food and drink are the hidden heroes, making everyday sacrifices so fellow citizens can access the food and drink they want and need.
“Partnership between employers and unions has been crucial to continuing production over the last eight weeks. Our member companies will go on supporting their workers through the difficult weeks to come. We look forward to working closely with our trade union colleagues to do so.”
Joe Clarke, national officer for food, drink and agriculture, Unite added: “Unite the Union are proud of the cooperative approach that has been established with trade unions working jointly with FDF to ensure the health and safety and good practice within the sector to support our food workers in feeding the nation.
“Hopefully the foundations that have been formed will stand us in good stead in the future when we come out the other end of this national crisis.”