It was a pleasure to meet the team from Suntory Beverage & Food at The Food & Drink Federation’s event in Parliament last week. As a major employer in my constituency, it is always fruitful to meet with the Suntory team. We have recently seen Suntory celebrating their 85th anniversary of producing Ribena in the Forest of Dean, where local farmers have been growing the blackcurrants for generations.
In Parliament, I was proud to see the hard work of the Ribena team bearing fruit, with their re-formulated lower-sugar Ribena tasting almost indistinguishable from the iconic original recipe (though I was able to identify the new from the old in the blind tasting!) – perhaps a benefit of being the local MP! Whilst I was a Minister under the then Prime Minister David Cameron, the then Chancellor George Osborne introduced the “Sugar Tax” to reduce the amounts of sugar being used in foods and drinks. Rising to the challenge, the team at Suntory have managed to make a drink that tastes even better than before.
As always, we must do all that we can to support the local farmers, businesses, and producers. Through investment, skills, and innovation, our local businesses – including Suntory – will help drive the Forest’s economy forwards over the coming years.