The UK food and drink industry must work closely with other stakeholders to tackle issues such as nutrition, food safety and broader industry developments, according to the Food and Drink Federation’s new president, John Sunderland.

Speaking at the annual President’s Dinner last week, Sunderland said food safety was the most important challenge for the food industry.

He noted that the FDF took the view that education was the key to tackling problems such as obesity and that the FDF’s initiatives included the creation of a CD-Rom to help schools spread the ‘5-a-day’ message.

Sunderland said reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy - which described as “the tyranny of the developed world’s artificial support for its own agricultural produce at the expense of the developing world” - were a step in the right direction.

In summary he concluded: “Partnerships are the key to the success of the FDF's activities on behalf of our industry— partnerships not just with DEFRA and the FSA, but with retailers, the food service sector, wholesalers, farmers, teachers and public health specialists.”