Industry Takes Cold Chain Manifesto to Houses of Parliament Ahead of General Election

On 21st May 2024, more than 150 temperature-controlled logistics operators joined the Cold Chain Federation in the House of Commons to discuss the Cold Chain Manifesto with Ministers, Shadow Ministers, MPs and Peers.

The Cold Chain Manifesto was launched by the federation in February 2024 to set out, ahead of the general election now called for 4th July, the actions the next Government should take to help unlock the great potential of the UK’s temperature-controlled logistics industry.

A range of policy actions proposed in the Cold Chain Manifesto was discussed at the parliamentary reception, such as policies to support recruiting talent for the cold chain’s future, emission-free transport refrigeration technologies, and investment in cold chain infrastructure. Politicians in attendance included Rebecca Pow MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Florence Eshalomi MP (Shadow Minister for Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government), former Defra Secretary Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, and Helen Morgan MP (Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Levelling up, Housing and Communities).

Attendees heard speeches examining how government policy can help unlock the UK cold chain’s potential from cross-bench Peer and Co-chair of the Future UK Freight & Logistics All Party Parliamentary Group Lord Waverley; Chris Clarkson MP for Heywood and Middleton; Regional Vice President of Lineage UK Claire Walters; and Cold Chain Federation President Paul Bennell.

Lord Waverley said: The cold chain industry is critical to our economy and daily life, the backbone of our food supply chains. Several key areas and pressing issues must be addressed collectively to support and strengthen the cold chain sector. We must ensure the regulatory environment is fit for purpose, supports innovation and harmonises international standards, ensuring a regulatory framework that protects consumers while fostering growth and technological advancement.”

Cold Chain Federation President Paul Bennell said:The UK cold chain has fantastic potential for sustainable growth, but there are some significant challenges to overcome. Together, government and industry can unlock the cold chain’s great potential to help spur growth, improve food standards, and make important contributions towards net zero. We are delighted that so many CCF members were able to join us in the House of Commons to help ensure our industry’s voice is heard at this crucial time ahead of the general election as political parties are honing their strategies and plans for the future.”

You can view photos from the event on our Flickr page.

The Cold Chain Manifesto sets out a range of priority policies across five areas:

  1. Recognising the Value of the Cold Chain – seeking an increase in investment into our nation’s transport and logistics infrastructure to improve the efficiency and resilience of the cold chain and reduce costs for businesses and consumers; and designating the cold chain to a Cabinet Office Ministerial portfolio.
  2. Driving Cold Chain Sustainability and Enhancing Energy Efficiency – facilitating Net Zero Cold Chains by tackling overchilling in the frozen supply chain, harnessing the potential of renewable energy and increasing support for energy efficiency.
  3. Enabling Emission-free Transport Refrigeration – supporting operators to bridge the enhanced capital cost of emerging technologies and overcoming grid connection challenges to enable the installation of charging infrastructure.
  4. Developing the Next Generation of Cold Chain Talent – renewing focus on skills and training for the cold chain workforce, to meet the needs of a growing and increasingly complex industry.
  5.  Removing Barriers to Trade – supporting the growth of international trade in temperature-sensitive products, enabling our industry to work with the Government to open up new markets for UK businesses and ensure our products can compete on a level playing field in the global market.

Read the full Manifesto ‘Cold Chain: The Vital Link to Turbocharging UK Growth & Security’

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