We want to improve the way we deliver regulatory controls for food and create a modern, risk-based, proportionate, robust and resilient system.
The current system of regulation has been in place for more than 30 years and has served consumers well. But it hasn’t kept pace with technological change in the food industry, and is not flexible enough to adapt to the changing environment.
The existing ‘one size fits all’ approach to regulating food businesses is ill-suited to the incredibly diverse nature of the industry. In recent years, we have witnessed large numbers of new players enter the global food and food safety landscape; for example, online retailers, food delivery services, private auditors, independent food safety certification schemes.
However the current regulatory approach doesn’t allow us easily to focus our effort on changing risks. For the UK to continue to be a strong, credible player in the global food economy, the regulatory regime needs to keep pace with rapid changes in that economy. Leaving the EU will change patterns of food production, trade and consumption, emphasising the need for a flexible and responsive regulatory system.
The changes we are planning can’t all be delivered at once, and not all of them are in the hands of the FSA alone. That means that we need to take interim, progressive steps that will enable us to reassure consumers and support the food industry from day one of being outside the EU.