Workplace Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) is an increasingly important priority for the UK’s food and drink manufacturing sector. Embodying ED&I principles y enhances a company’s reputation, increases its talent pool when recruiting and improves productivity, innovation and decision making.

To reflect the growing importance of this policy area, FDF are focusing more time and resource to provide our members with a platform for best practice sharing through the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Network. This informal, non-competitive network will provide a valuable space for ED&I professionals to share best practice and experiences and hear from experts in this area, supplementing the extensive work being done by businesses and other organisations in the sector. Our goal is to ensure that Food and Drink Manufacturing becomes an example to all sectors in how to create equal, diverse and inclusive workplaces


Accelerate Mentoring Programme

The Accelerate Mentoring Programme, organised by Odgers Berndtson, Grant Thornton, and the FDF, is designed to promote and improve the gender balance at board level across the food and drink industry by supporting the accelerated development of female and non-binary talent. When done well, we believe mentoring is a two-way process that should challenge both the mentors and the mentees.

Our mentoring scheme is aimed at helping accelerate female or non-binary leaders aspiring to get to board level. We are therefore looking for mentees who are high-achieving female and non-binary leaders, currently in a senior management position, actively seeking progression to board level. Our mentors can be male, female, or non-binary leaders who hold board level roles either as an Executive, Non-Executive Director or as an Owner/Founder.

Find out more about the Accelerate Mentoring Programme

Sign up to become a mentor or mentee

Government publishes “Inclusive Britain” response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities

Workforce and employment

The UK Government has responded to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities. The Commission was set up in 2020 in response to Black Lives Matter protests and increased scrutiny on race relations and disparities in the UK and publish its report in March 2021.

The Government’s response, published on 17 March 2022, is a strategy to address racial disparities, boost opportunity and promote fairness in the UK entitled “Inclusive Britain”.

The Inclusive Britain Action Plan sets out 70 actions falling under the three key themes identified by the commission - Building Trust, Promoting Fairness, and Creating Agency - as well as measures that go beyond the Commission’s recommendations. The actions of greatest significance to the food and drink manufacturing industry and the work of the FDF include:

  • Creating a new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities which is now working to improve health for everyone – accepting a key Commission recommendation.
  • Issuing guidance to employers on how to measure and report on differences in ethnicity pay so businesses can identify and address disparities.
  • Publishing a new White Paper on tackling health disparities to ensure we have a plan in place to help everyone live longer, healthier, and happier lives.
  • Deploying a new in-work support offer to every Jobcentre from April 2022 with 37 new specialist Progression Champions to support working claimants to climb the career ladder, tackling ethnic pay disparities.
  • Address the challenges with ethnicity pay gap reporting to support employers who want to demonstrate and drive greater fairness in the workplace.

A summary of the reponse and the key actions can be found at: 

Grant Thornton Inclusion and Diversity Assessment Tool

FDF affiliate member Grant Thornton have developed Inclusion & Diversity Maturity Assessment Tool. 

The development of this tool reflects the increased attention on the need for and benefits of having inclusive and diverse workplaces, whilst recognises the challenge in idneitfying where to start in implementing an effective inclusion and diversity strategy. 

Grant Thornton's digital Inclusion Maturity Assessment is used to help clients understand their starting position, their ambitions and how they can acheive their goals. 

You can find a full list of Grant Thornton's Inclusion and Diversity services and read about their own I&D story. To discuss using the assessment to gauge where your business is, please contact Felicity Brown (Associate Director, Consumer Markets) at:


Summary: Keynote address from Christopher Hayden-Hayes, HR Director, Kellogg’s

Summary: Keynote address from Christopher Hayden-Hayes, HR Director, Kellogg’s for the FDF Inclusion and Diversity Network event, Tuesday 23 November 2021

Download pdf

Inclusion and Diversity in UK Food and Drink Manufacturing

On July 21, the FDF hosted webinar on inclusion and diversity in food and drink manufacturing. Jill Coyle (Apprenticeship Manager Nestlé UK&I, Member Chair of the FDF’s Employment and Skills Forum) chaired a panel of Inclusion & Diversity experts to discuss the key issues facing our sector in this important policy area, including how to start making workplaces more inclusive and diverse and how to reach diverse communities when recruiting.

Watch the recording of the event

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Report: Food and Drink Inclusion and Diversity Report 2021

21 July 2021

Embodying the principles of inclusion and diversity has shown to enhance a company’s reputation, increase its talent pool when recruiting and improve productivity, innovation and decision making.

Read more