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Dr. Oetker UK and North Yorkshire County Council find recipe for regulatory success

Dr. Oetker UK and North Yorkshire County Council find recipe for regulatory success

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 22 September 2009

The international family-owned food business, Dr Oetker, has signed up to a new regulatory relationship, as part of a pioneering UK scheme for better local regulation.

The maker and distributer of high quality food stuffs has created an innovative partnership with North Yorkshire County Council, establishing the local authority as its single point of contact for trading standards issues across its Chilled and Ambient ranges within the UK.

Known as a Primary Authority agreement, this is the first of its kind between a local authority and a food manufacturer.

Primary Authority (PA), run by the public body for better local regulation LBRO, provides companies with reliable and consistent regulatory advice from a single source - the Primary Authority - when dealing with key aspects of environmental health, trading standards and licensing services. Government estimates suggest the scheme could eventually save business across the UK up to £50 million a year.

Dr Oetker UK Managing Director for Chilled & Ambient, Richard Ilsley said: "Dr. Oetker UK has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with our local Trading Standards team in North Yorkshire for many years. Going forwards this initiative will provide both parties with a single point of contact and ensure a consistent interpretation of the regulations to the benefit of our customers, consumers and our respective personnel. Basically it will improve the flow of communication and decision making which in turn will further strengthen the collaboration between our two parties to the benefit of everyone involved"

County Councillor Clare Wood, Executive member for Trading Standards & Planning Services, said: "It is important when the recession is biting that the County Council gives the best possible service to businesses that provide employment to the area.

"In agreeing to be Primary Authority to Dr Oetker the County Council is in effect showing their total commitment to supply the company with the best available advice and support on Trading Standards issues ".

LBRO Chair Clive Grace said: "Dr Oetker has built its brand on the promise of high quality. They invest a great deal of resources in ensuring their UK subsidiary meets the highest standards. Primary Authority gives them assurance through a strong relationship with one local authority and benefits their customers and local communities."

Primary Authority is available to all businesses, regardless of size, which operate across two or more council boundaries, including small and medium-sized enterprises which trade over the internet.

For businesses a primary authority partnership will mean consistency of local inspection and enforcement activity. Currently businesses can run the risk of prosecution even if they follow official advice if local inspectors disagree about how to interpret regulations. This lack of consistency can also result in discrepancies in protection for consumers, workers and the environment.

For local authorities primary authority will provide the opportunity to influence compliance nationally via the primary authority giving advice to its partner business as well as saving other local authorities resources by allowing them to focus inspection activity where it is most needed.

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The Primary Authority scheme was designed by the Better Regulation Executive and approved by Parliament as part of the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008. Primary Authority came into law on 6 April 2009. Primary Authority partnerships are available to any business that trades across two or more council boundaries, regardless of size. Small businesses that sell from websites, for example, have the same access to consistent advice about trading standards and health and safety rules as big manufacturing or construction companies. The scheme will improve compliance to the benefit of business, consumers and communities.

2. The Local Better Regulation Office (LBRO) helps local authorities improve their environmental health, trading standards, fire safety and licensing services - reducing burdens on businesses that comply with the law while targeting those who flout it. It was incorporated as a government-owned limited company in May 2007. Following the commencement of the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 on 1 October 2008, it now operates as an executive non-departmental public body, accountable to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills through the Better Regulation Executive. LBRO is governed by an independent Board, has a staff of around 25 and is based in central Birmingham. Our remit covers the whole of the UK and we liaise closely with the devolved administrations to ensure our work in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is appropriate. For further information please visit www.lbro.org.uk

Media enquiries to Jo Barker
Tel: 0121 226 4019.
Email: jo.barker@lbro.org.uk

LBRO/32/2009

Contacts:

Local Better Regulation Office
nds.lbro@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Jo Barker.
Phone: 0121 226 4019
Jo.barker@lbro.org.uk

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