Soft drinks maker in Bottesford warns of harmful impact of sugar tax plan

Pev Manners, managing director of Belvoir Fruits Farms. '''All Rights Reserved - F Stop Press. Tel: +44 (0)1335 418629 +44(0)7765 242650
Pev Manners, managing director of Belvoir Fruits Farms. '''All Rights Reserved - F Stop Press. Tel: +44 (0)1335 418629 +44(0)7765 242650
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The boss of a soft drinks manufacturer in Bottesford has criticised Government plans to impose a sugar tax on the industry.

Pev Manners, managing director of Belvoir Fruits Farms, has warned the tax, which is set to come into force in April 2018, will harm businesses like his and will not achieve its goal to cut obesity.

Consultation on the sugar tax levy proposal is due to end on October 13.

Mr Manners said: “The Government claims it wants to help British manufacturers succeed but its decision to proceed with the soft drinks tax will have the opposite effect on soft drinks producers, particularly for smaller, expanding companies like mine.

“This tax will hit us hard and seriously limit plans for future growth in both the UK and abroad for our business.

“Export is increasingly important for us with sales rising over 30 per cent in 2014 and 2015 and these products will also be liable for this tax, which seems crazy as they will be sold overseas.

“The tax will also have a negative impact on other industries and local communities.

“Recent analysis shows that over 4,000 jobs nationwide will be lost as a result of the tax predominantly in pubs, restaurants and local shops.”

He added: “There is no evidence worldwide that it will actually work or have any impact on levels of obesity in this country. It hasn’t worked elsewhere where it has been tried.

“This is no surprise. Drinking a soft drink which contains a bit of sugar as part of a healthy diet, alongside moderate exercise does not create a weight problem. Obesity is not caused by one single product or ingredient but the combined effect of eating and drinking too much with a lack of exercise. Demonising one product, ironically the only one in which sugar intake is falling because of innovations such as our “Lights” range, surely cannot be the answer.”

“I urge the Government to scrap this ineffective and harmful tax before it’s too late.”