Food Standards Agency
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Agency announces simplification plan savings

Since 2005, the Food Standards Agency has delivered annual savings of up to £380m to businesses and the public sector. Details are published yesterday in the 2009/10 Simplification Report and Plan. This is the fourth, and penultimate, report and plan in the current five year programme.

Annual savings of £269m are being delivered to business, including £44m in administrative burden reductions, and £111m to the public sector. The plan shows significant progress towards the Agency's aim of minimising unnecessary burdens without compromising consumer protection.

The Agency is on track to deliver a further £45m in administrative burden reductions by May 2010, from new record keeping guidance for farmers (£35m) and decision-making guidance to accompany the Meat Products Regulations (£9m). This will bring total administrative burden reduction to £89m by the end of the current programme in May 2010.

Alison Spalding, Head of Better Regulation at the Food Standards Agency, said: 'Our five year rolling simplification programme has delivered considerable savings for industry and the public sector. The focus now is on ensuring we deliver against all previous commitments.

'Stakeholder engagement has been key in all of this, as it has allowed us to better understand their concerns and take forward suggestions for simplification. As always, the focus over the past year has been on reducing burdens only where consumer protection will not be compromised.'

Other key areas of the report include:

  • Helping small business, which make up over 80% of the food businesses that the FSA regulates and on whom the burden of regulation often falls disproportionately. This was done largely through Safer food, better business packs, which simplify and explain food hygiene regulations.
  • Working closely with our enforcement partners in local authorities and at ports, to improve consistent enforcement and help them focus their activities on high risk areas. This was done through the provision of training courses and online shared databases, such as the Food Fraud Database.

The Simplification Report and Plan for 2009/10 can be found at the link below.

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