IGD has formed a new steering group to take forward the work of the Food Project ­ which was formally wound up this week. Peter Barr, chairman of Hazlewood Foods, said members of the new Food Chain Issues group would be drawn from senior figures in farming, foodservice, logistics, manufacturing, government and retail. And he said one of the group's key jobs would be tackling those issues that were affecting competitiveness of the industry. He said: "We have to make every effort to understand the problems within other sectors of the chain." The new group will underpin IGD's commitment to support some of the initiatives identified by MAFF minister Nick Brown in his recent report on the food chain ­ particularly on the need to create a better understanding among farmers and growers. Brown told this week's conference that he wanted to see a "joined up food chain" ­ and said that meant collaborative working between all partners. "A sense of common purpose will allow us to overcome shared problems." The Food Project was set up three years ago to find ways of boosting the competitiveness of British industry. Training and research initiatives started under the project will continue as part of IGD's core activities. The new group will look after wider issues, such as the global livestock benchmarking study launched this week. Barr said: "One of IGD's aims for the future is to contribute to the emergence in Britain of a world class food supply chain." {{NEWS }}