The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has opened a consultation on proposed changes to its discount system for the cost of providing meat hygiene and welfare controls in slaughterhouses, cutting plants and on-farm slaughter facilities.
The consultation, which runs until May 31, is the latest step in a process which began in September 2012 when FSA asked the meat industry to work with it to develop a discount system that “promotes efficiency, supports improving compliance, appropriately supports small and medium-sized enterprises and provides a balanced discount arrangement that seeks to achieve a more balanced and more equitable system”.
This was followed by the setting up of a steering group to examine meat charging issues, resulting in the delivery in September 2014 of the following core proposals:
- that discounts should be applied based on usage of FSA staff time with the level of discount reducing as more hours are utilised
- that there should be a supplementary discount for slaughterhouses employing plant inspection assistants to carry out official controls
- that discounts should not be applied to cutting premises
Subject to the results of the current consultation, it’s planned that the proposed changes will be introduced from the start of 2016/17.