Feedback Opportunity for Small Businesses on Enforcement in Food Manufacturing

United Kingdom

The ‘Focus on Enforcement’ campaign to get feedback from smaller business as to their experiences of working with national regulators and local authorities will be looking at those connected with food manufacturing over the next 5 weeks. 

It is stated that this is an opportunity for business to provide feedback to government on suggestions for a better enforcement and inspection regime. The best suggestions for other areas needing examination will guide Ministers in prioritising a series of reviews to identify the source of the problem and propose action.

However, the scope of the review is limited. 

  • The review is only open to small businesses i.e. those employing less than 50 employees, and only applies to manufacturers of food and drink for supply to the public through retail outlets.  The scope excludes primary production, catering / food preparation (such as restaurants or take-away outlets) and meat processing where the product is not for immediate sale to the public.
  • The focus of these reviews is on the way regulation is delivered – whether through inspections, advice, enforcement – not about the regulations themselves. Also, comments can only be considered on specific cases when all proceedings have finished.  (A separate initiative, Red Tape Challenge, allows broader commentary on regulations from all affected parties,)

How these restrictions in the scope of the review may themselves be enforced, whether or not the views of business may be distilled from this mass approach and an effective response provided, remains to be seen. However,  of particular interest to all business is that the 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. This may in itself provide a valuable insight into different enforcement styles in different areas.

The Small Business in Food Manufacturing theme is now live on the Focus on Enforcement website and can be found at: