Your leader discussing business failures, the Hot Topic warning of the impact of wage increases and comments from ­Duncan Swift, head of food and agri-business at Grant Thornton (The Grocer, 19 August) could well lead readers to believe that our industry is doomed.

However, nothing could be further from the truth. We are in fact leaders in global productivity with a track record in innovation that is the envy of our competitors.

What you are seeing is no more than the market flushing out companies with a flawed business model. Quite simply, no one has the right to exist if they have no real competitive edge.

Equally there is nothing intrinsically wrong in suppliers paying high wages, provided that they deliver productivity.

We aspire to high wages and an added-value environment where our workforce is skilled to achieve business success. And that is precisely where Improve can help. We are the Sector Skills Council for the Food and Drink Industry and part of the Skills for Business Network.

As the voice of employers in influencing learning supply, our role is wide-ranging. It starts with attracting the best people of all ages and abilities to work in our industry.

The new apprenticeship schemes are gaining popularity and revised standards qualifications are being designed by employers who recognise achievement wherever it is gained, whether at college, at work or online. Exhorting employers on the critical role that skills can play in business success is our remit.

However, most important will be the National Skills Academy, to be launched in October, which will bring together all learning providers into a common network that will be readily accessible by all employers and employees.

Accredited Centres of Excellence will be established to deliver specific sector training as well as industry wide skills such as lean manufacturing.

This way we can stay ahead.