Groups join forces to improve food and drink energy efficiency

Innovate UK (formerly Technology Strategy Board), Defra and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have announced an £11m investment into the food and drink supply chain to help increase energy efficiency.

The investment has been welcomed by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and will be used to grow the UK’s food engineering capability with the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE) at Sheffield Hallam University to research solutions to the reduction of waste and raw materials.

Melanie Leech, director general at FDF, said: “I am delighted the importance of the food industry has been recognised through this major new investment, which will allow businesses to collaborate to find industry-wide innovative engineering solutions, creating a more resilient and resource-efficient food and drink manufacturing supply chain. Through initiatives such as this fund and the development of the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University, industry will be able to unlock its growth potential and drive competitive advantage.”
 
The NCEFE, which has previously worked alongside meat brand ABP to reduce crate size, will use the investment to provide engineering solutions for the supply chain while delivering energy-efficient packaging solutions.

Commenting on the investment, Gavin Darby CEO of Premier Foods and Chairman of the Industry Advisory Board for the NCEFE at Sheffield Hallam University said: “Access to this fund will support new and innovative engineering solutions that will help improve the industry’s competitiveness and, ultimately, deliver better resource efficiency. The Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering will play an important role as a hub for industry collaboration to address a range of industry-wide challenges.”

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