Recognising compliance and approved assurance scheme members
The revised Feed Law Code of Practice (England), which was published in May, includes the new measures that recognise feed businesses that can demonstrate a good history of compliance or are compliant members of an approved industry assurance scheme. This means these businesses will qualify for a reduced frequency of inspection.
This change will help reduce the burden of inspections on feed businesses, and ensure that inspections are focused more on high-risk areas of the sector.
The Feed Law Code of Practice is awaiting approval in Wales, and in Northern Ireland, guidance will be developed for DARD. A new code for Scotland will be developed in conjunction with the new Scottish food body.
The assurance schemes
Working with the VMD, the FSA has partnered with the trade association Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) to approve the following schemes in the UK:
- Universal Feed Assurance Scheme (UFAS)
- Feed Materials Assurance Scheme (FEMAS)
- Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops (TASCC)
- Beef and Lamb Scheme
- Dairy Scheme
- Crops and Sugar Beet Scheme
- Pigs and Poultry Schemes
Monitoring members and other schemes
The FSA has established robust governance arrangements to assess, approve and monitor assurance schemes. The monitoring process will include local authorities inspecting a sample group of assurance scheme members and feeding back to the FSA.
The FSA will also continue to explore earned recognition arrangements with other feed industry assurance schemes and the wider development of earned recognition in both the feed and food sectors based on risk.
John Barnes, Head of the Local Delivery Division at the Food Standards Agency, said: ‘Compliant businesses can significantly benefit from earned recognition – the move will see them have fewer inspections and save the time and costs associated with those inspections.
‘Earned recognition takes account of feed business operators’ own checks and levels of compliance – we’re pleased to announce that assurance schemes operated by AIC and Red Tractor that we have partnered will provide the dual benefit of recognising compliance and reducing the burden of inspection on businesses.’
What our partners said
Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Paul Green, Operations Director, VMD, said: ‘The VMD is delighted to have reached agreement with the AIC and the FSA to grant earned recognition to members of UFAS. Under earned recognition, the VMD will increase the interval between its inspections for those UFAS-certificated feed mills that also fully comply with the Veterinary Medicines Regulations. This is a great example of government and industry working together to reduce regulatory burdens.’
Agricultural Industries Confederation
John Kelley, Managing Director, AIC Services, said: ‘AIC (who manage the feed assurance schemes) have worked with the FSA and VMD over a number of years to achieve recognition of the feed assurance schemes. This will be a real tangible benefit for companies that are certified to these schemes as they will have fewer visits from their local authority. It is further recognition of the professional standards in place within the industry.’
David Clarke, Chief Executive of the Red Tractor scheme, said: ‘We are pleased that the FSA recognises that the Red Tractor scheme provides solid assurance that farmers meet the requirements of Feed Hygiene legislation. The FSA assessment process was rigorous and we are pleased that our scheme came up to the mark.’