Food minister Mark Spencer called to give evidence to parliamentary group on support for food and drink sector beyond March

As rising costs put immense pressure on vital supply chains, Defra minister Mark Spencer is meeting MPs to discuss how the Government plans to support the food and drink sector through the energy crisis.

Members of the Food and Drink Supply Chain All-Party Parliamentary Group have said they believe it is essential that affordable, healthy food and drink supplies are top of the list for support and protection.

They added that tackling the short and medium-term impact of the energy crisis on producers, distributors and retailers should be the minister’s priority.

Thousands of food and drink businesses have been supported this winter by the Government’s energy bills relief scheme (EBRS), however significant questions remain over the details of the fund after March.

Sharon Hodgson MP, interim chair of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG), said: “Spiralling energy prices are having a major impact on food and drink businesses, intensifying the cost of doing business, and driving food price inflation to worrying levels.

“This is why we have invited the food minister Mark Spencer to give evidence to the APPG so he can outline the government’s plan to support this vital sector after the initial scheme ends in March, and to set out how we can build a stronger, more resilient supply chain in the future.”

The session on 18 January will explore the impact the current energy crisis is having on the food and drink supply chain, how this will potentially impact consumers and businesses across the UK, and what steps the government plans to take to support this sector after the current six-month support package expires.

The APPG recently took evidence from businesses across the food and drink supply chain and heard from witnesses about the impact of spiralling costs and the deteriorating economic situation. MPs heard that redundancies, business closures and a sharp decline in investment are likely to follow should businesses within the food supply chain miss out on energy support after March.

Matt Vickers, chair of the Food and Drink Supply Chain APPG, said: “Our group’s inquiry highlighted the damaging impact rising inflation, cost-of-living costs and energy prices are having on the sector. I am delighted the food minister will be giving evidence to the APPG. It is crucial that this sector is supported to ensure that it can continue carrying out vital work to keep our nation fed.”

The session is open to the public. Contact the secretariat at if you are interested in attending the meeting.