17 April 2024

UK Government seeks to secure supply chain resilience

The UK Government is taking action to safeguard flows of vital goods, such as medicines and smartphone chips, with a new Critical Imports Council.

© JJ Ying/unsplash

The Council is made up of 23 industry leaders and brings together expertise from business, academia and government to advise on securing resilience in supply chains for items critical to the UK’s economic prosperity, national security and essential services. IOM3 sits on the Council.

It builds on the government’s first-of-its-kind Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy, launched in January.

The Council will work with government to tackle the supply challenges businesses face and develop real-life solutions. Meeting quarterly, they will collaborate on emerging supply chain risks and identify the support UK businesses need to reduce vulnerabilities – including how to use overseas networks in more than 100 countries to connect with new suppliers.

The Department for Business and Trade will also create a new online portal where businesses can report red tape or supply chain problems, allowing work to start on resolving the issues quickly.

Andy Walker, Technology Director at Johnson Matthey, says, 'Supply chain resilience of critical goods is essential for Johnson Matthey, so it’s great to be part of the Critical Imports Council, in which government, industry and academia will work together to agree the best approaches to implement actions identified within the Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy.'

Rhett Hatcher, CEO of UK Chamber of Shipping, adds, 'As an island nation, the UK relies on shipping to deliver its energy, food and medical supplies with billions of pounds worth of imports each year. In an unpredictable world, it is vital that the UK Government acts to improve the UK’s resilience to global supply chains shocks. The establishment of this Council is an important step and will enable us to work together to tackle our collective challenges.

The Council members are: 

  • ADS Group
  • Association of British Healthtech Industries
  • Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
  • BAE Systems
  • BASF
  • British Chambers of Commerce
  • British Generic Manufacturers Association
  • BT
  • Chemical Business Association
  • Cranfield School of Management
  • Critical Minerals Association
  • Institute of Export and International Trade
  • Tech UK
  • Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Logistics UK
  • Make UK
  • Maritime UK
  • Renewable UK
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)
  • UK Chambers of Shipping
  • UK Trade Policy Observatory