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‘Focus on Enforcement’ - opportunity for small businesses in food manufacturing to have their say on the way regulations are enforced

‘Focus on Enforcement’ - opportunity for small businesses in food manufacturing to have their say on the way regulations are enforced

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 01 May 2012

The first review theme for the Government’s Focus on Enforcement campaign is now up and running. For the next five weeks, the Government will be focusing on enforcement that affects small businesses in food manufacturing; and inviting companies to feed back their experiences of working with national regulators and local authorities.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:

“Focus on Enforcement gives small businesses in food manufacturing the chance to make a real difference to the way regulators visit, inspect and advise and enforce the law.

“I want all small businesses involved in food manufacture, and those that advise and assist them, to visit the site and tell us their views.”

Focus on Enforcement also gives businesses in other sectors the chance to make a real difference to the way regulators do their work in their area. If you are in a different business sector and would like to suggest we look at how enforcement in your area of business could be improved, please go to the website and make a suggestion.

The best suggestions for areas needing examination will guide Ministers in prioritising a series of reviews to identify the source of the problem and propose action.

Melanie Leech, Director General of the Food and Drink Federation said:

“I welcome this review. Effective regulation is vital for consumers to have confidence in our food and drink. But our smaller members consistently tell us that Government action to reduce the burden of regulation not only by making necessary regulation smarter but through a better enforcement and inspection regime could make a real difference to their ability to compete."

Notes to editors:

1. The Small Business in Food Manufacturing theme is now live on the Focus on Enforcement website and can be found at: The site gives businesses the opportunity to suggest areas for review of compliance and enforcement arrangements, and to provide evidence on areas ‘in focus’. Reviews covering chemicals manufacturing and volunteer events will follow in May.

2. Small business in food manufacturing was chosen for review because it was raised as a priority during the Government’s consultation on enforcement launched in June 2011. The sorts of small food manufacturers who might like to comment could include – but are not limited to - bakers, cheese-makers, and beer and cider producers.

3. The focus of these reviews is on the way regulation is delivered – whether through inspections, advice, enforcement – not about the regulations themselves. A separate initiative – Red Tape Challenge – invites the public, business and the voluntary and community sector to give their views, comments and ideas on what regulations should stay, be improved, or be scrapped altogether

4. The Focus on Enforcement website, for the first time, provides details on national regulators, their remits and regulatory budgets and staff resource in one place and information is also provided on regulatory functions undertaken by local authorities. (A large number of organisations play a part in securing compliance with the law. They include national regulators, local authorities, and bodies independent of Government, some of which have statutory regulatory functions. The list on the website is not exhaustive and details will continue to be added and updated).

5. The scope of the review will cover:

- Regulatory activity by national regulators and local authorities that affects or is perceived to affect the day-to-day running of businesses that manufacture food and drink for supply to the public through retail outlets including farm shops, markets and on-line, that employ less than 50 employees

However, the scope will exclude:

- Primary food production (e.g. farming, aquaculture);

- Meat processing where the product is not for immediate sale to the public;

- Catering / food preparation (such as restaurants or take-away outlets)

‘Regulatory activity’ in this context includes action taken by national regulators or officers of local authorities, including but not limited to:

- provision of advice on compliance with the law;

- inspections of locations or equipment in order to satisfy regulatory authorities of compliance with the law;

- requirements to make formal applications, or provide information, in order to obtain necessary permits to engage in food manufacturing business;

- requirements to attend courses / obtain particular qualifications;

- enforcement proceedings taken against individuals or organisations in the event of failure to comply with regulations (we cannot consider comments on specific cases unless all proceedings have finished – but we can consider general evidence in relation to enforcement proceedings)

6. The review will also be interested to learn about examples of effective, tailored and easy to understand guidance and advice for businesses, and good regulatory delivery that is risk-based, focused on achieving compliance and supporting business growth.

7. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See


BIS Press Office

Aidan Steer
Phone: 020 7215 5245

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