Economics bulletin 08 September

Date : 08 September 2023

Your overview of economic and policy news with a focus on the food and consumer goods industry. Featuring the latest developments and guidance on the rising cost of living, the Ukraine conflict, labour shortages, policy developments and adapting to a new relationship with the EU.

Economic resilience issues

The UK food and grocery supply chain proved to be impressively resilient during the Covid-19 pandemic, however, it has come under severe pressure since then.

  • UK farming confidence levels are at their lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic
  • A reliance on international supply chains is growing slowly
  • The UK food sector is experiencing a labour shortage of 500,000 people to meet necessary demands of business
  • Political instability and economic uncertainty have impacted business confidence which means we have seen limited investment across the supply chain, especially since EU exit

It has never been more important for leaders in business and government to collaborate to rebuild resilience in the food supply chain.

Our latest Viewpoint Special report: Rebuilding economic resilience in the UK food supply chain is out now. Read the full report or download our one-page Executive Summary to understand the key issues impacting the food supply chain and the emerging threats.

UK economy boost

The Office for National Statistics has reported that the UK economy has made a stronger recovery from the impact of COVID-19 and is now 0.6% above its pre-pandemic level. Previously it was estimated that the UK economy was 1.2% below the pre-pandemic level.

IGD Viewpoint: The large upward-revision is unusual and – on the face of it – good news, however, it may also explain why inflation following COVID-19 has been so challenging to control.

The UK economy, previously thought to have recovered poorly from COVID-19, now appears to have recovered better than peer nations, however, these nations may still revise their data upwards.

The impact of COVID-19 was still devastating and it will take many years for the UK to recover as the UK economy remains challenged by inflation, high government debt and a tight labour market.

Shadow Cabinet reshuffle

The Labour party leader Keir Starmer has announced changes to the Shadow Cabinet, in advance of an expected general election in 2024.

Steve Reed is the newly appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Jonathan Reynolds, has seen his brief as Shadow Secretary of State for Businesses expanded to also include Trade.

Target Operating Model update

As part of the updated Target Operating Model, controls on imports to Great Britain from non-EU countries will come into force from 30 April 2024. Products will be categorised whether they are high, medium, or low risk and checks will be enforced based on these categorisations.

For non-EU animals and animal products the risk categorisation can be found here.

For non-EU plants and plant products the risk categorisation can be found here.

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