The Federation of Wholesale Distributors has identified six priorities the new government needs to address in the trade association’s Election Manifesto.
A UK election will be taking place on 12 December and the FWD has drawn up a list of issues it believes will protect the profitability of the wholesale sector and the 450,000 retail and catering businesses it supplies and supports.
These include pushing for a trade deal after Brexit which keeps tariffs or trade barriers to a minimum, showing restraint on National Living Wage increases, and introducing further measures to tackle alcohol duty fraud and sugar tax evasion.
With packaging producer responsibility rules likely to be under review in a new parliament, It is also asking the new government to maintain the current exemption for distributors for packaging producer responsibility rules, without which its members would see cost increases of up to 300%.
It also believes that a mandatory allergens database is necessary to guarantee consumers access to full and accurate information on the potentially harmful ingredients in the food they purchase.
Following a decline in police response to incidents at members’ premises, which has led to tobacco and alcohol products being stolen from customers and distributed illegally, FWD is calling for the Home Office to commit greater resources to prevent crime and prosecute criminals who target wholesalers and their customers.
Chief Executive James Bielby said: “We are asking for a fair playing field for this vital industry which supports public services, small businesses and remote communities. For wholesalers to thrive, legislation that affects them must be effective, it must be achievable, and it must be proportionate.
“We are therefore asking the government to join us in ensuring that future policy enables the sector to grow, thrive and importantly support our workforces, customers and communities,” he added.
The Wholesale Manifesto 2019 from the Federation of Wholesale Distributors:
– Secure the best possible Brexit deal for the food and drink wholesale sector
– Ensure no new packaging tax obligation for wholesalers
– Introduce a mandatory allergens database to guarantee consumers access to full and accurate information
– Show restraint on NLW increases and ensure these are affordable for businesses
– Introduce new measures to tackle alcohol and sugar tax fraud
– Commit greater resources to tackling crime against wholesalers and our customers