Historical context Mood of suspicion post BSE; Independence questioned; Conflict of interest perceived Breakdown in public trust
UK Food Standards Agency Non-Ministerial UK Government Department since April 2000; Arms length from Government; Statutory objective to protect the health of the public and the interests of consumers in relation to food and drink; Responsible for food safety and standards, nutrition and consumer protection.
What we do Core values: consumer first; open and accessible; independent voice; evidence based; Independent of sectoral and political interest yet engage with all stakeholders throughout policy development; Deliver enforceable and practical policy solutions within (largely) EU framework.
Approach to regulation Statutory requirement to consider costs and benefits of regulations; Develop policy and take decisions in and open and transparent way; Evidence and risk-based approach; Do not use absence of certainty as excuse for taking action.
Risk-based regulation Aim is not to achieve zero risk, but to reduce risk to a level which should be acceptable to the reasonable consumer; 5 principles: –get the facts right; –keep an open mind; –apply rigour; –act openly; –involve stakeholders.
Risk based regulation Incomplete science Costs & feasibility JudgementPolicy decision on on precautionaryrisk management action Public opinion on acceptability Discuss openly throughout
Principles of Good Regulation Proportionate Accountable Consistent Transparent Targeted
What is better regulation? Ensuring that regulations do not impose unnecessary burdens on business, the public sector and the voluntary sector – whilst still delivering high levels of protection for consumers unwarranted; About achieving a balance; Better regulation is not just about deregulation.
Where does it all come from? 97% from European Union 3% domestic of 97%: –52% no discretion over implementation –45% UK has some discretion
And the cost….. Administrative burden in May 05 - £91 million; FSA Board commitment to reduce by 25% - to no more than £68 million; Additional regulation in Jan 06 increased burden to £205 million; Need to achieve £136 million savings to achieve target of £68 million.
How are we tackling? Better regulation: helps businesses to be more productive and public services more efficient, by simplifying legislation and introducing new legislation only when essential. Simplification: clarifies the objectives and minimises the administrative requirements and costs of existing regulations without changing the policy objectives Administrative burden reduction: minimises information obligations on businesses and third sector (for example by using fewer, better designed forms to gather only essential information)
Is our approach working? UK has highest consumer trust in food safety of six EU countries studied (Trust in Food in Europe, NICR, Oslo 2003) 82% of people are now aware of the FSA; 61% rated the FSA as an organisation I trust, and 66% described themselves as confident about the Agencys role in protecting health. (Consumers Attitudes Survey, 2006)
Putting the theory into practice In England & Wales food borne disease affects more that 750,000 people, causing 17,000 hospitalisations and some 500 deaths cost to the economy £1.5 billion (Euros 2.2 billion) each year; new EC food hygiene regs from January 2006 Produce and serve safe food by implementing safety management systems based on HACCP
HACCP – solution & problem risk-based quality method developed for larger food manufacturing businesses; flow chart analysis of potential hazards and implementation of specific controls to eliminate hazards; requires considerable expertise, monitoring and record-keeping BUT – estimated 350,000 food businesses employ < 10 people
Safer Food Better Business Keep it simple – the 4Cs Cooking Chilling Cross contamination Cleaning
SFBB – guidance packs caterers, retailers, ethnic cuisine; safe method fact sheets diary for record keeping; 4Cs: cooking; chilling; cross- contamination; and cleaning; builds on existing knowledge; following SFBB correctly means compliance with the law.
Red tape reduction removed the need for repetitive monitoring and record keeping; improved skills and increased compliance with food law; saved UK business some £137 million per annum
SFBB success increased confidence in businesses ability to manage food safety; food hygiene enforcement is risk- based through advice and guidance; increased consumer protection
SFBB success Everything to do with food safety in one place 97% Helps train and supervise staff87% Helps manage my business86% Helps stock control & reduces wastage 74% Has increased the effectiveness of my business 70% Has increased the profitability of my business 44%
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