Food Standards Agency
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Reducing burdens in the meat industry and farming

The Agency has produced two new pieces of guidance that will reduce the administrative burdens of the meat industry and farmers, helping them to comply with the law while maintaining consumer protection.

Meat products regulation guidance

The new guidance for the meat products industry aims to make the process of correctly labelling any added ingredients easier. Under the Meat Products Regulations 2003, certain added ingredients must be mentioned in the name of any meat product that could otherwise be mistaken for plain meat, but has added ingredients such as water, starches or ingredients of animal origin.

The new flow diagrams can be found at the link below.

This particular regulation places a considerable burden on industry and was identified as an area where savings could be made, while maintaining clear and accurate information for consumers.

The new guidance consists of quick and easy to use flow diagrams that greatly reduces the time taken on deciding how to label a product. The Agency consulted on several approaches last year and there was strong support for the flow diagram approach. Reducing the burdens of this particular regulation will benefit businesses across the UK. Consumers will benefit too, as the guidance will help ensure they are getting accurate information with which to make an informed choice.

Farmers' guidance

The second piece of FSA guidance published today is a one-page document that will help farmers to keep only the necessary records on animal feed. So it should also save farmers a significant amount of time and money.

The farmers’ animal feed record keeping guidance can be found at the link below.

Under European feed hygiene legislation, farmers must keep a number of records, including information on animal feed bought-in or sold. The Agency identified the cost and time spent by farmers in complying with these requirements as another area where major savings could be made, while maintaining high levels of traceability information.

The guidance has been trialled with farmers in England who, after seeing it, told the Agency they were much clearer about what records they need to keep. Not filling in unnecessary forms could save each farmer over 35 hours each year. In England it has been estimated that with the new guidance, farmers need only spend an hour each month on keeping records on feeds.

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