Food and Drink North East would be nothing without its network and members. Their experiences, opinions and voices are what help make our organisation a beating heart of the food, drink and hospitality sectors in the North East, keeping our finger on the pulse of the most important priorities and needs right now.
So, when our network talks, we listen.
In September 2022, we conducted an Energy Crisis Consultation survey to measure the potential impact of the energy crisis. With rising gas, energy and fuel costs, a 54% energy price increase in April 2022, and one month away from a further 80% planned energy price cap increase by Ofgem on 1st October 2022, these findings show a snapshot of the industry at a crucial moment in time, and their fears about the cost of living crisis.
This was followed up by another survey of our network in late Spring 2023, which we called the Boiling Point Survey. An ongoing temperature test of the agricultural, food, drink, manufacturing and hospitality sectors in the North East, where local business owners in the North East could let us know the issues and challenges affecting them, as well as the successes they had had, in the first half of 2023.
We’ve put together two infographics of the results, which you can download and read via the links below, but we’re sharing a snippet of them here.
87% of the companies surveyed in the Energy Crisis Consultation survey said that they were forecasting losses due to the current crisis, with 64% expecting losses of up to £50,000. And, 34% of businesses said that their most pressing challenge was rising energy bills.
In the Boiling Point Survey, we can see that 41% of businesses have had to change the way they operate in order to survive, and even though 56% say they have been negatively impacted by the cost of living crisis, 30% of businesses had matched or exceeded profits compared to their first financial quarter in 2022.
Now, what are our next steps? We want you to be a part of them. Join the conversation on the posts on our social channels (Facebook/ LinkedIn), let us know what would you like to see happen at a local and national level to help your business through this and future crises?
Interestingly, in both surveys, networking opportunities were highlighted as beneficial to businesses (42%) and 14% of businesses saying they required collaboration and advice from other local business.
So, let us work together. Because when we do, we make each other and our local economy stronger.