‘To discuss business’: food and drink industry lobbying in the UK

‘To discuss business’: food and drink industry lobbying in the UK

A Food Research Collaboration Discussion Paper

Antony So

Lobbying is an integral part of our democratic system, allowing interested parties to present data and arguments to policy-makers and thus helping politicians to make good public decisions. But it is closely linked to power – and power inequalities – and can thus distort public decision-making. This is why it requires public scrutiny. The economic weight of the food and drink sector in the UK makes it particularly important to analyse the industry’s numerous interactions with policy-makers.

This Discussion Paper presents publicly available information on some recently declared meetings between food and drink businesses and UK policy-makers. These declarations are broad and largely unhelpful. The report shows that other countries have much more stringent requirements for disclosing lobbying activities. By adopting some of these, the UK could improve transparency and trust in lobbying, business and policy-making.

About the author


Antony So

Antony So is a communications and policy professional with extensive experience at the intersection of business, communications and politics. His international career has included work with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the British Chamber of Commerce, the Food and Drink Federation, the United States Senate and for several political campaigns.

In 2018-2020, he studied for an MSc at the Centre for Food Policy, where his dissertation examined the political and lobbying complexities of the reauthorisation of glyphosate in the European Union. Prior to working in communications and advocacy, he gained a Master’s degree in EU politics from the London School of Economics’ European Institute.

Explore FRC Publications

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.