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The FDF’s ‘Achieving Net Zero’ handbook was published on Tuesday 9 November

The Food & Drink Federation (FDF) has launched a handbook to support industry players on their journeys to becoming net zero.

The ‘Achieving Net Zero’ handbook, which was published on Tuesday 9 November, outlines how those in the food and drink sector can tackle the challenges that come with reducing their carbon footprint.

The resource is particularly helpful for those at the early stages of developing their climate strategy, the FDF said.

“The publication of this excellent handbook for food and drink manufacturers is a significant moment in our sector’s journey to net zero,” added the FDF’s CEO Ian Wright.

“The handbook will be an important tool for food and drink manufacturers – and others across the supply chain – striving to achieve net zero by 2040.

“This work demonstrates the huge value of ever stronger collaboration with all stakeholders across the farm-to-fork supply chain.”

The minister for the department for environment, food and rural affairs, Victoria Prentis, said the food industry was “at the vanguard of the nation’s efforts to reach net zero” and she encouraged all food and drink manufacturers to follow the guidelines laid out in the handbook.

However, the handbook’s publication comes amid complaints the government is not doing enough to tackle the food industry’s environmental impact.

The UK government’s recent Net Zero Strategy was deemed as “strangely devoid of urgency” in the context of decarbonising the food and agriculture industries.

Additionally, many in the sector have pointed out that food has been glaringly missing from the prime minister’s agenda at this year’s COP26 – even though food and drink accounts for a third of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The FDF’s head of energy and climate change policy, Emma Piercy, said changes in how the global food system meets the demands of a growing population “need to accelerate”.

“When considering the reliance of food systems on the natural environment, how we adapt to the causes and consequences of climate change are key.

“In our sector, all participants, including manufacturers, have a role in achieving these changes which will require action and collaboration across the full supply chain.”

She added: “COP26 provides the perfect springboard for greater climate action in the food sector – the FDF looks forward to working with all stakeholders, including government, on our roadmap to net zero.”