FWD offers open invitation to political parties ahead of election

Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries Mark Spencer MP and Shadow Environment Minister, Daniel Zeichner MP with the FWD Manifesto

Ahead of the general election the FWD has appealed to all political parties to work with the wholesale channel to allow it to play an active role in future economic growth.

The Prime Minister has called it for 4 July 2024 and the FWD stated that wholesalers are the ‘lifeblood of the nation’ and through its manifesto has offered an open invitation to all parties to work with the sector in the run up to the election and beyond.

The FWD manifesto includ­es a list of requests for the UK government across the five themes:


• Abolish the annual inflation­ary increase to the business rate multiplier.

• Ensure regulatory alignment across the devolved nations.

• Alleviate pressures for whole­salers in the use of the Windsor Framework by offering resources and support to businesses to en­sure they are fully compliant with the new trade rules.


• Expand the Apprenticeship Levy into a wider Skills Levy to stimulate greater investment in skills and training, supporting the workforce of the future. Giving businesses more flexibility to allocate the money to train staff will bring significant benefits to the wholesale sector.

• Expand the Shropshire Review so it takes into account the whole supply chain, including the wholesale sector, which is currently excluded from the review. Shortages in labour are still causing key issues for whole­salers. Public-sector routes have also been subjected to ‘efficiency’ changes, with fewer deliver­ies. This has meant far larger volumes of food being delivered at once, but no place for a raft of public-sector settings to store these goods due to limited kitchen capacity. In a number of cases, this has led to less fresh food be­ing delivered and menu changes to compensate. The Shropshire Review, which looks at address­ing labour shortages in the food supply chain, should therefore include the wholesale sector.

• Take a measured approach when setting new employment policies to ensure the impacts of new legislation take account of the needs in the wholesale sector.

Read more: FWD outlines wholesale plan for UK government in manifesto


• Offer a clear and consistent strategy for road freight decar­bonisation to facilitate investment in zero-emission vehicles.

• Standardise corporate report­ing requirements of scope 3 emissions data to ensure greater availability, consistency and qual­ity data.

• Ensure a dialogue that guar­antees accurate, science-based communication around climate change, net-zero emissions and sustainability, while fostering climate literacy and preventing the dissemination of false infor­mation and policies.


• Ensure the Criminal Justice Bill tackles wholesale crime, to guarantee it is afforded the protections it requires. FWD would also welcome an addition to the bill to introduce a specific offence for assaulting a retail and wholesale worker.

• Commit to a real inflationary increase in funding for public-sector catering and ring-fence the funding for catering costs, to allow the continued supply of healthy food to schools.

• Introduce a condition that allows contract price increases more regularly than once a year if a threshold is met (for example, inflation is more than 5%) to en­sure contract terms are favourable in the procurement market.

Supply chain

• Ensure a joined-up approach to food-and-drink regulation across the devolved regions as any divergence leads to significant added costs and complexity for wholesalers operating in the four nations of the UK. Wholesalers already operate within extremely tight margins.

• Support the development of a more efficient and effective sup­ply chain by delivering a more hands-on approach to support the industry’s adoption of automation and digitalisation.

• Work closely with the industry so we can build a resilient and sustainable food system.

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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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