What’s impacting the food and drink sector?
The food and drink industry is a core component of the UK’s manufacturing sector. It represents over 15% of manufacturing turnover and employment in Britain. One of the main focuses for the food and drink sector is innovation, which has been particularly crucial during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. There are other key areas which have impacted the sector recently:
While food and drink manufacturers across the UK are being challenged to reduce their carbon footprint, it is important to note that investing in sustainability doesn’t have to impact profitability. We identify ways to unlock value through investing in sustainability, including:
- Focusing on generating revenue through waste minimisation and potential diversification
- Improving efficiency by reducing costs
- Revisiting people management strategies
- Maximising available reliefs from R&D and capital allowances
Realigning business models in the food and drink sector
COVID-19 had a significant impact on the food and drink industry, both from a positive and negative perspective. Many businesses in the sector reviewed their operations in line with the change in consumer behaviour.
There was a marked increase in online services, with many changing their business models from B2B to B2C. This required streamlining stock or focussing buying decisions on essential products. Whilst many food and drink producers and manufacturers continued to work throughout the pandemic, shift patterns changed in line with the changing consumer demand and revised safety requirements.
As we move out of the pandemic and lockdown lifts, we expect to see a continuation of the requirement to change and a necessity to continue flexing business plans.
Impact of Brexit on food and drink manufacturing
As with the wider manufacturing sector, there has been some uncertainty as to how significant the impact of Brexit would be, particularly considering the end of free movement of labour within the EU. ¼ of businesses in the food and drink sector utilised labour from EU countries. However, since Brexit, the resilience of the food and drink sector has been established.
How can you make your supply chain more sustainable?
Increasingly more consumers are seeking sustainable solutions. They are looking to make purchases from eco-friendly businesses who can demonstrate a fully sustainable supply chain. 4 in 5 consumers feel not enough is being done to address issues around sustainability and climate change (GlobalData “Sustainability in UK Retail, 2019). Over the last few years, businesses have shifted plans and realigned themselves to become more sustainable, in line with the UK Government’s plan to become a Net-Zero carbon country by 2050.
More food and drink #BrighterThinking:
How have we helped those in the Food and Drink sector?
We worked with this bottle manufacturer to ensure that they secured R & D tax relief for the benefit of their investment in research and development enabling them to reinvest the funds in further development.
The company had looked to capitalise on an international opportunity through a connected party which had resulted in an irrecoverable loan and we reviewed and established a position enabling tax relief to be claimed for the loan.
Food delivery service
We undertake IFRS reporting for this food delivery client. We have provided them with advice around disclosures, reviewing their accounts to ensure they have included the appropriate disclosures.
Improved reporting and controls
We worked with this food manufacturer to develop improved controls around cash in the business, in order to mitigate risk. We also assisted with the design of a management information package, which improved timeliness of delivery
Improved reporting and systems
We recognised the need for improved financial reports for this food manufacturer. In collaboration with the IT providers, we assisted with the scope and implementation of a warehouse management system, driving improvement through time management software to remove inefficiencies in weekly payroll.