Your Voice in UK and Europe

Background to Regulating Our Future

The UK Food Standards Agency has announced that it is reviewing the way in which food regulations are to be implemented in the future in the UK after BREXIT. The details are set out in the 'Regulating our Future' paper published on 19th July 2017.

Currently most (98%) of food regulations come from Europe and Food Solutions membership of the UEAPME Food Forum gives us direct access to EU officials. Once we leave Europe this access to officials will cease. Regulation after BREXIT will be down to UK authorities. Although all current EU food legislation is likely to be adopted on day one of BREXIT, there is a strong likelihood of changes after.

Food Solutions applied and was appointed to be a member of the Expert Advisory Group (EAG) representing smaller food businesses. We were horrified to discover that the group was dominated by multi-million pound businesses and organisations representing them. We need to make sure your voice is heard!

The Expert Advisory Groups were instrumental in the production of the paper produced in July. We learn there are to be two working groups set up (one is already) to discuss how the FSA will achieve their changes outlined in the July document. In the meantime, the EAG meetings have been put on hold.

New Voice for SMEs

By adding your voice we will become a powerful force to stop decisions being taken that could add significant costs to your business

We need to mobilise the smaller food business outlets in the UK fast. There are over 600,000 SME and micro food businesses in the UK. Most of you work independently so making direct contact with you is difficult.

UK Food Forum

Food Solutions with several other partners/stakeholders is forming a new organisation aimed at giving independant SME food businesses from any sector, a voice and support in complying with regulations. If SMEs are not included in discussions, the resulting legislation regime could put many of them out of business. Most do not have the resources or time to go to meetings and do not belong to a trade organisation.

If we all work together we can make a difference so we would ask you to join us and add your voice. We would also ask you to talk to anyone you know running a small food business and urge them to join the fight also.

This will ensure that the voice of the majority is heard where it matters.

Individual businesses £30/year.

Some issues affect all food businesses, to a lesser or greater extent. Food Solutions is here to make sure small business concerns are taken into account before legislation is finalised so they are not disadvantaged.

Bob Salmon has an in depth knowledge of European food law and the requirements of small food businesses. John Golton-Davis has in depth understanding of small food businesses and with agricultural businesses now subject to inspection, Paul Gregory is the Food Solutions expert looking at these issues.

Background notes on FSA suggestions for inspection charges and permission to trade includes link to survey.

Notes on EU proposals and FSA responses on inspection charges (2011-2016)

Benefits for you

YOU get on with running your business while WE:

  • Keep tabs on meetings of the Expert Advisory Group and regulation suggestions/proposals
  • Identify issues that may affect you
  • Send you details, background info and ask for a response electronically
  • Represent you in discussions - real business opinions carry weight - but you remain anonymous
  • Report back on meetings so you know what is happening

We give you a voice

Individual businesses £30/year.

Voice in Europe

Food Solutions is the only British representative on the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME) Food Forum. The Food Forum has delegates from all the Member States and can put over the views of small and medium sized food enterprises (SMEs) to the EU officials. That Forum is the only one recognised by the Commission as speaking on behalf of all European small food businesses.

Through the UEAPME Food Forum, we have direct input to the decision makers in Europe, enabling us to take members views and concerns to the lawmakers.This gives small UK food businesses a voice in Europe.

UEAPME has produced a flyer outlining its promotion of traditional, fine and handcrafted quality food, which combines a sense of quality, health and taste and representation of the interests of SMEs in the legislative process at EU level.

Food Solutions access to the Food Forum costs us an annual fee but offers you a voice in Europe which can make a difference - we need to maintain our links with the EU until BREXIT is complete, to make sure Britain is not being ignored.

European Lawmaking process

Until BREXIT actually happens EU law still presides in UK. Involvement with the plans for law making post BREXIT means Food Solutions can make sure small food business needs are taken into account. The current process is outlined below.

Download Flow chart pdf of EU law making process or see below

While UK remains in Europe, the FSA can only put EU regulations into UK law. This is why involvement at European level is vital. There is ample time to change or amend proposals. Occasionally Member States are given some flexibility on interpretation, so it is important we also put members views to our law makers too.

In the light of the Regulating our Future initiative, your input is now vital.

Individual businesses £30/year.