In a move that reflects the growing popularity in the UK towards the consumption of a vegetarian diet, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has launched a new voice for the £500 million (€786m) vegetarian food and drink industry - the FDF Vegetarian (Meat-Free) Group.
In a statement this week, the FDF stated that key vegetarian and meat-free food producers have been brought together to form an alliance of interests in "one of the most dynamic and innovative sectors of the UK food industry".
The FDF said that it hopes the new group will serve as a forum for discussion in order to exchange views and experience between FDF members, promote educational activities, encouraging product development and innovation, and finally promote the highest quality standards.
Sylvia Jay, FDF director general, said: "The Vegetarian and Meat-Free Manufacturing Liaison group is an excitingaddition to FDF. It reflects the growing demand for even more choice inthe food we eat.
The group will provide manufacturers with an essentialforum and a strong voice in a sector which plays an increasingly importantpart of their businesses."
Tim Treharne, an agent for fashionable vegetarian prepared foods company Linda McCartney Foods is the new chairman of the FDF Vegetarian (Meat-Free) Group. "I am delighted to be chairing this new FDF Group. This alliance of vegetarian and meat-free manufacturers will allow key issues to beaddressed in a market which shows a great potential for continued growth," he said this week.
According to the FDF, the vegetarian and meat-free category is growing by over 15 per cent a year on average and is widely considered to be one on the most dynamic sectors of the UK food industry.