‘More ambition needed to achieve net zero across food and drink industry’

That’s the warning from the Food and Drink Federation and SLR, which stresses government and industry must step up efforts to decarbonise what is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector

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More ambition is needed from government and industry to achieve net zero across the food and drink sector by 2050.

That’s the warning from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and SLR, which stresses as the UK Government seeks to power the economic recovery through clean growth and investment in low carbon technologies, the needs of the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, food and drink, “must be at its heart”.

It recommends the industry should establish a food-and-drink industry taskforce to facilitate knowledge sharing across the sector on technology innovations and implementation and calls for Local Enterprise Partnerships to gather key stakeholders to address local area planning challenges in electricity and gas networks.

The report urges the UK Government to implement a third phase of Climate Change Agreements post-2025 which build on previous successes and shift focus to carbon reductions and establish a new collaborative approach with industry to design a financial support scheme for industrial decarbonisation.

It notes despite the government putting its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 80% to net zero by 2050 into legislation in June 2019, it has not updated the 2015 Food and Drink sector roadmap to outline how a transition could be achieved for the sector.

Emma Piercy, Head of Energy and Climate Change at FDF, said: “As the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, the food and drink industry is absolutely committed to a green recovery post-Covid-19 and achieving the Government’s net-zero carbon target by 2050.

“In producing this report, we have identified a clear pathway to net zero and the challenges we will need to overcome in order to meet that target. But we can’t do it alone. Businesses will need clear direction and support to make that transition.”

future Net Zero has contacted the government for a response.