Opinion

Call to arms for more industry engagement

Manufacturers must engage in Brexit and Regulating our Future negotiations

Get the food safety culture right and performance will follow. That was the parting remark from Sterling Crew, head of technical at Kolak Snack Foods and vice president of the Institute of Food Science & Technology, in his presentation to last month’s Food Manufacture conference ‘Food safety 2020: preparing your business for change’.

The event was chaired by Campden BRI director general Steven Walker, who summed up the wealth of subjects covered during the day. He agreed food safety culture was a subject whose importance was all too often misunderstood.

Walker reiterated the call to action made by several speakers during the day. They wanted industry stakeholders to get involved in two critical sets of consultations and negotiations that will directly impact the future of food safety in the sector.

The first concerned the UK’s ongoing Brexit negotiations, to ensure that critical food safety considerations were not lost among the torrent of other important issues being discussed.

The second was a call to engage with the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA’s) Regulating our Future consultations, so that a collaborative rather than confrontational outcome – desired by both regulator and industry – was achieved.

Key among the day’s findings were the need to develop greater trust between the industry and the FSA and between the industry and consumers, who were often suspicious of the motives of those working in food and drink manufacture.

“If we don’t get involved, it’s at our own peril,” concluded Walker.

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