BFFF recently attended an FSA Food Industry Liaison Group meeting. Following discussions at the meeting, they have now provided the following update for members on the Retained EU Law Bill:
We have reviewed retained EU law within the FSA’s remit and have provided advice to Ministers, which is currently being considered and we are awaiting a ministerial decision. The FSA has published as part of our recent Board papers (December 2022 and March 2023) the guiding principles we have used to inform our advice. These guiding principles are:
- Protecting public health, food safety and standards: we should not make changes which reduce the safety or standards of food produced or eaten in the UK.
- Protecting consumer interests: we should not make changes which are detrimental to the wider consumer interest in relation to food (for example by making food harder to afford).
- Maintaining consumer and trading partner confidence: we should not make changes which are likely to reduce consumer or trading partner confidence in UK food, or which are inconsistent with our international trade agreements.
- Supporting innovation and growth: we should seek to make changes that support innovation, growth and the introduction of new technologies, (including innovation that could help to make food healthier or more sustainable) and remove unnecessary burdens on business.
- Managing divergence: we should, as far as possible, seek consistency of approach across GB, in line with common framework commitments. We will consider the impact of divergence on public health and safety and the wider impact for consumers or businesses of having differing rules across the UK.
We are planning to run a consultation on our approach later this year. We understand the industry needs certainty and we will share our plans as soon as we can.