Soft drinks sector 'really important' says Eustice

By Rick Pendrous contact

- Last updated on GMT

Eustice supports soft drinks sector
Eustice supports soft drinks sector

Related tags: Soft drinks, United kingdom

Food minister George Eustice has stressed the importance of the soft drinks industry to the UK economy and applauded its achievements in reducing its environmental impact.

Speaking at a reception at the House of Commons last month coinciding with the publication of a progress report on the British Soft Drinks Association’s (BSDA’s) ‘Sustainability Roadmap’ , which was launched in July last year, Eustice said: “The soft drinks industry is one of our largest growth sectors of the food industry.”

Worth £7.7bn a year

He added: “It is worth around £7.7bn a year​ [to the British economy] and employs 20,000 people directly and another 115,000 people indirectly. So it is a really important industry.”

Eustice’s comments will be welcomed by those in the sector. Many fear that constant attacks on the sector and increasing threats to impose punitive sanctions – such as a sugar tax on its products – to curb what campaigners claim are soaring levels of obesity caused by the consumption of sugary drinks, are damaging a very successful UK manufacturing sector.

Regarding the Sustainability Roadmap, Eustice added: “It’s really good to see the industry moving forward in this area. This new agreement will ensure we continue to build on this success by creating a thriving industry with a production process that is efficient, saves energy and reduces waste.”

He highlighted several areas of achievement, such as the sector’s reduction in water use of over 1.3bnm3​ over the past couple of years. He also noted that packaging waste and landfill had been cut through weight reduction and recycling initiatives.

Reduce environmental impact

The soft drinks roadmap is a voluntary initiative which aims to encourage soft drinks companies to identify opportunities to reduce their environmental impact, use resources more efficiently and share best practice.

Signatories to the roadmap present at the House of Commons event included Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), Britvic, Princes Gate Spring Water, ACE UK, Doehler and Ball Trading. In total, 39 organisations have signed up.

Related topics: Business, Beverage

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