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Our approach and the context we work in

We use a scientific, evidence-based approach to ensure food is safe and what it says it is.

Last updated: 7 October 2020

This empowers businesses and consumers to do the right thing to keep food safe. We tell the truth about food.

We strive to: 

  • Be the trusted voice on food standards in the consumer interest
  • Make it easy for businesses to maintain food safety and standards
  • Collaborate with the most influential players in the food system to improve food safety and standards
  • Optimise data and digital capability internally and externally to strengthen our influence
  • Operate transparently and openly
78% of people have heard of the FSA. Of those, 73% trust us to do our job.

Two green circles, within which is written: "78% of people have heard of the FSA. Of those, 73% trust us to do our job." for the our approach part of FSA 2020 / FSA 20 Prospectus

The context we work in

The UK food sector is made up of:

  • 4.1m people employed in the agri-food sector in Q4 2019 (GB)
  • £23.6bn worth of food, feed and drink exports in 2019 (UK)
  • £234bn is the consumer expenditure on food, drink and catering in 2019 (UK)
  • £120.2bn is the agri-food sector contribution to national Gross Value Added in 2018 (UK)

Source: Defra's Food Statistics in your pocket

500,000+ food establishments (2018-19)

Green circle with "500,000+ food establishments (2018-19)" in it for the Context We Work In part of the FSA 20 prospectus

The 500,000+ food establishments (2018/2019) in the England, Northern Ireland and Wales consist of:

  • 413,000 Restaurants & Caterers 
  • 124,000 Retailers 
  • 17,000 Manufacturers & Packers 
  • 9,000 Distributors/Transporters 
  • 4,000 Primary Producers 
  • 1,000 Importers/Exporters

Source: Annual report on local authority food law enforcement 2018-2019

Download our brochure. Learn more about how we have worked to protect your plate over the last 20 years and our vision for the future.