Small firms in the food industry are being urged to give their views on the impact of food regulation on their businesses in a bid to safeguard consumer choice.

More than 500 letters to gather these grass roots views were sent out today by the Food Standards Agency‘s Task Force on the Burden of Food Regulations on Small Businesses.

The Agency’s Deputy Chair, Suzi Leather, said:

“Food safety standards have to be maintained, but if small businesses are going to the wall because of unnecessary regulation, that has an adverse impact on consumer choice.

“It is important that small businesses themselves tell us about any burdens and the costs of these burdens. The task force needs this information to make progress.

“If unnecessary or disproportionate burdens are revealed, we will be seeking solutions that will be beneficial to the consumer, consumer choice and small businesses.”

The task force was set up by the Food Standards Agency in June to advise the Agency about the burdens of food regulations on small food businesses. It met for the first time on 25 July and agreed that industry representatives bodies should be asked:

  • to identify those regulations thought to be a burden;
  • to say how these regulations were a burden; and
  • to quantify the impact of these regulations on their businesses.
  • Other interested bodies, including consumer organisations, public health bodies, local government associations and trades unions, have also been invited to comment.

    Copies of the consultation letters and the list of organisations consulted can be found in the consultations section of the Food Standards Agency website. The deadline for responses is 8 November.