The Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD), Stephen Martin, has pledged to champion the food industry in Brexit negotiations, in particular the voice of companies in the South West
Speaking during a visit to Markus Products in Wincanton, which makes ingredients that go into prepared meals for companies like M&S and Waitrose, Mr Martin acknowledged that food producers are an important part of the UK economy and their interests need to be represented.
He said: “It is important to me visit areas like the west country where great companies like Markus and are making fantastic products, in order listen to their concerns and to learn the best way forward. I am aware that food producers need more support, especially when it comes to raw ingredient prices and skilled labour shortages. I regularly meet the Business Secretary and I will reflect back what it is being told to be by manufacturers like Markus.”
The new Managing Director of Markus Products, Chris Ormrod, told IoD members on a tour of the business: “One in seven people in the UK in employment work in the food industry - that represents a huge part of the economy. There is immense pressure on manufacturers to stay lean and to constantly innovate and that needs to be recognised. Raw product inflation alone has cost Markus more than two million pounds since Brexit was announced and we need to ensure it does not continue in this upwards trajectory.”
Markus Products employs more than 150 people at its factory in Wincanton Business Park, producing 600 different lines including sauces, flavoured butter, rubs, toppings, marinades, glazes and dressings. It supplies companies which make pre-prepared meals for the likes of Sainsbury’s, Tesco - producing ingredients for more than three million pre-prepared meals every week.