A survey featured in the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF) 2019 Business Confidence report revealed confidence amongst businesses in the food and drink industry has improved by almost a third since the start of 2019.

The survey found that net confidence in the industry has improved by 29 percentage points since Q1 2019.

Larger businesses are more optimistic about the year ahead for the UK economy than SMEs, according to the survey, with almost half (47%) of manufacturers predict UK business investment rising in 2020.

63% of companies see increased domestic demand as an opportunity for their business this year, and over 40% are looking forward to increased certainty over the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

The survey also found that the cost of ingredients, inconsistent policies on plastic reduction, and border/customs issues were listed as key concerns by over two thirds of manufacturers.

FDF chief executive, Ian Wright CBE, said: “It’s no surprise that the industry remains troubled following a period of sustained uncertainty, with our future relationship with the EU still unresolved. But our industry is phenomenally resilient.

“FDF is absolutely committed to working with Government and the devolved administrations to develop detailed plans and practical solutions for our vital industry as we leave the EU. It is essential that we minimise friction in whatever way possible, while maintaining high standards for UK food and drink.”