In response to reports of petitions from members about unrelenting energy prices, the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) has formulated some recommendations for the new UK Prime Minister.

“AIMS has been alarmed by hearing from members about the impact of unconfirmed energy price hikes on their businesses and customers, and could see market failure unless the new government intervenes immediately with an important package of support. We fear high: rural economies, food security and the well-being of our members and their employees,” the report said.

The briefing report highlights his three case studies, based on information submitted by his AIMS members in the last week of August 2022, in which the association described the “real grim situation of rising energy prices”. AIMS spokesman Tony Goodgar added, “In most cases these are triple digit percentages.”

A case study looked at a vertically integrated poultry company expecting a 437% monthly increase, with an initial cost of £22,000 and now expected to exceed £118,000. Case study 2 cites his one slaughterhouse where energy costs increase by 145%. Case study 3 relates to an independent poultry slaughterhouse facing a claim of £900,000.

“Businesses with allocated bank balances for expansions, site upgrades or other investments are now consumed by having to pay exorbitant utility bills,” said Goodger. “We will ask the new Prime Minister and Cabinet to adopt the four simple and immediate recommendations we are proposing to contain input costs and avoid passing on higher production costs to consumers. I urge you to:

  1. Immediately introduce a cap to business energy costs and ensure that UK competitiveness is maintained by pegging any increases against a global average
  2. Suspend the introduction of unnecessary business costs such as the plastics tax until such a time as the economy can sustain addition taxes
  3. Restore the use of rebated fuels to the whole of the agricultural supply chain to include cutting plants and the refrigeration units on vehicles
  4. Introduce a common nationwide business support package to include easy and quick access to grants to install PV panels as opposed to regional grant funding.

“We urge the new PM to act now and act decisively not just on behalf of our members but the whole of the food and drink industry who are all facing the same challenges,” Goodger concluded.

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Source: New Food Magazine

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