FDF director general Melanie Leech said: “Many of the measures in today’s budget and the recently adopted ‘single pot’ proposals from Lord Heseltine support our vision shared with Government to grow the sector by 20% by 2020.
“The new employer allowance will significantly lower food and drink SMEs National Insurance bills and give those businesses greater certainty when considering whether to invest in growth while the announcement of a further cut in Corporation Tax and the cancellation of the rise in fuel duty planned for September will be welcomed across the industry.”
“FDF also welcomes the support for the Agri-tech strategy, one of 11 key sectors that will benefit from £1.6bn of funding. Implementing the strategy through a whole-chain approach lead by senior figures from the across the food industry will increase its reach and chances of success.
“The increase to the above the line research and development tax credit to 10% also sends a clear message that the UK welcomes investments in innovation. However for SMEs, which form the backbone of the UK’s food and drink sector, the scheme remains complex and inaccessible.
“FDF will continue to argue for more flexibility in the definitions of innovation and the way they are applied so that these businesses can accelerate their growth while playing a full part in improving public health and reducing their impacts on the environment.”
FoodBev Media Ltd 2015