APPG to hold special session examining energy crisis

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The Food and Drink Supply Chain APPG will be holding a special inquiry session on 19th October examining the impact of the energy crisis on the food and drink supply chain.

Featuring the FWD and ACS, the group was established this year by a cross party group of MPs to champion the food and drink supply chain in Parliament. This session will explore the impact the current energy crisis is having on the food and drink supply chain, how this could potentially impact consumers and businesses across the UK and what steps need to be taken in the Chancellor’s next fiscal event, and after the government’s six month support package expires.

Thousands of food and drink businesses may have been saved from closure this winter by the energy bills relief scheme (EBRS), but significant questions remain over the details, feasibility, and sustainability of government policy.

Read more: Five ways the Ukraine conflict could impact the wholesale industry

With the cost of living spiralling and the economic situation deteriorating, it is vital that food and drink remain affordable for families across the country. Tackling the short and medium term energy crisis is of the utmost importance in addressing that.

Sharon Hodgson, interim chair of the Food and Drink Supply Chain APPG said: “Ensuring that the UK food and drink supply chain produces healthy, quality, and affordable food is of fundamental importance.However, spiralling energy prices are having a major impact on food and drink businesses, intensifying the cost of doing business, and driving food price inflation to worrying levels.

This forum will enable us to understand the short and medium term effects the energy crisis is having on businesses, what steps we as policymakers can take to alleviate the worst of the situation, and how we can build a stronger, more resilient supply chain in the future.”


The session will take place on Wednesday, 19th October and panellists will include:
TBC – National Farmers Union
James Bielby – Chief Executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors
Gavin Partington – Director General of the British Soft Drinks Association
Ian Mace – Head of Government Affairs and Policy of Associated British Foods
Emma McClarkin – Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association
James Lowman – Chief Executive of the Association of Convenience Stores

The APPG have issued a Call for Evidence seeking to gather information from organisations throughout the supply chain.
Call for evidence questions:

Have your energy bills, or the bills of organisations you represent, risen in the past 6 months and if so, by how much?
What percentage of your total business operating costs does this increase now represent?
If you hedge your energy, are you currently being impacted by the rising costs?
How are rising costs impacting your business or your sector? (e.g. Recruitment freezes, closure of facilities etc.)
How are you, or those you represent, managing the volatility and uncertainty of price – are you able to you able to factor this into the business decisions you are making?
What impact will these rising energy costs have on customers? Will you be required to pass on the costs or are you able to absorb them?
What mitigations are you or organisations in your sector implementing in order to alleviate the impact of the rising costs?
Are you exploring alternative sources of energy in order to mitigate rising costs?
Do you believe that the costs being alleviated by government policy will be sufficient? What would you like to see from the Government by way of intervention, both in the short term but also in the medium and long term?
What will happen to your sector if you are not supported with energy bills after the initial six months cap?
Should the food and drink supply chain be considered energy intensive?


 

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Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. He can be found on Twitter at @BW_PaulHill, or contacted via paul.hill@newtrade.co.uk and 07960935659.

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