Following a wide-ranging and challenging discussion about regulation at the Sustainable Food Trust’s event at Fir Farm on 25th November, where it was so good to engage with stakeholders from such diverse backgrounds, I thought it would be useful to summarise the change programme, Regulating Our Future, that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is undertaking and what we want to achieve.

Nina

Nina speaking at the Fir Farm event, with Christine Page

The FSA is one year into this major transformational programme, which will modernise and re-shape the regulatory regime for food so that we can be sure people have food that is safe and is what it says it is. Our ambition is big and it is timely. We are taking a whole system approach, drawing on information available from a wide range of sources and considering how it can add value to our work and further protect public health and consumer interests. We want to build a picture of business activity that reflects how businesses can comply with regulation, not just on inspection day, but every day. That means moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach and developing tailored and proportionate regulation that reflects relative risk, reinforces accountability and delivers more for public health.

Our aim is to develop an agile, flexible, regulatory system by 2020, strengthening enforcement where people deliberately or wilfully jeopardise public health and helping food businesses do the right thing for food safety and standards from the start.

We want to achieve better outcomes for consumers’ demands, working together with food businesses of all sizes, as well as local authorities, trade associations, assurance providers, government and consumers themselves. The FSA will set the standards for the new Regulating Our Future assurance framework with the very highest levels of consumer protection.

I am very excited that we already have a number of people from the event that we can continue the discussion with and I am looking forward to our first meeting. I shall keep you informed about the issues and challenges and our progress.

We want to hear the ideas, concerns and thoughts of all those with an interest in what we do. This open approach means we can design the most effective regulatory model for a modern and global food system.

There is always an opportunity to feed in your views on our website by following the link below. Interested parties can follow developments by registering to receive our Regulating Our Future newsletter and can continue the discussion by joining the conversation #foodregulation or email directly: FutureDelivery@foodstandards.gis.gov.uk

Photograph: Vanessa

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