A NEW report from a authorities physique has highlighted the meals requirements throughout the UK, while warning of upcoming challenges within the trade.
Meals Requirements Scotland (FSS) and the Meals Requirements Company (FSA) have launched Our Meals 2021: An annual evaluate of meals requirements throughout the UK, an in-depth evaluate of meals requirements within the UK.
The inaugural annual report comes after the UK meals system has confronted two years of main upheaval following the UK’s departure from the EU, the numerous results of the COVID-19 pandemic, and extra lately the disruption attributable to the struggle in Ukraine.
Regardless of these important pressures, the report concludes, with a level of warning, that meals requirements within the UK have largely been maintained.
Nevertheless, whereas there was no proof of a drop in requirements, the report warns of serious challenges forward.
Two of the principle issues recognized are firstly the autumn within the stage of native authority inspections of meals companies, that are being hampered by resourcing pressures confronted by native authorities, regardless of some progress in getting inspections again on monitor.
Secondly, the delay in establishing full UK imports controls for high-risk meals and feed from the EU, continues to cut back our capacity to forestall the entry of unsafe meals into the UK market.
FSS Chair, Heather Kelman, commented: “This joint report comes at what we imagine is a make or break juncture for meals high quality and security, as we transition right into a post-pandemic panorama and tackle new tasks following our departure from the EU.
“It’s actually encouraging that this evidence-led report has discovered that our excessive meals requirements we try for in Scotland and the remainder of the UK have been upheld throughout a very difficult interval.
“Nevertheless, the complete results of those momentous occasions are nonetheless being felt, and can proceed to have an effect on our meals methods for years to come back.
“We’re underneath no illusions there are main challenges forward.
“Because the report factors out, there’s a important problem in relation to native authority resourcing, which might have a dramatic impact on the flexibility to hold out inspections, meals legislation supply and will trigger a danger to public well being.
“Establishing full UK import controls can be a difficulty which has the potential to not solely injury shopper confidence, however finally have an effect on the excessive requirements of meals being positioned in the marketplace in Scotland and the remainder of UK.
“It’s our collective duty to ensure that these present challenges within the meals system are mitigated in a method that places us on target for a protected, more healthy and extra sustainable future meals system.”
Our Meals 2021: An annual evaluate of meals requirements throughout the UK might be laid throughout all 4 UK Parliaments/Assemblies on 27 June, 2022.
It’s the first of what’s going to be an annual report on how meals requirements are altering over time.
That is so that customers and parliamentarians stay sighted on the adjustments and challenges to our meals system and the proof we’re sharing with authorities determination makers.