AIMS Conference: Farming review to be seen through business eyes

The food and farming red tape task force, led by Richard MacDonald, will put the review through the eyes of business, according to its chairman.

In a speech to the AIMS annual conference in Stratford-upon-Avon, the former National Farmers' Union director general said the task force will aim to create better regulation for the food industry and keep a business focus to its recommendations.

MacDonald was tasked with leading the review by farming minister Jim Paice in June, looking into ways to reduce the regulatory burden, as well as advise on how best to achieve a risk-based system of regulation in the future. He told the conference: "I believe very strongly that the term we should use is better regulation. It's not just necessarily less essentially what we want to do as businesses is to produce more and impact less. And we all want to be more trusted I'm particularly keen to try to look at this through the eyes of business."

MacDonald added that he wants the findings of the review, aimed for publication in Spring 2011, to create regulations that drive excellence and put the focus on underperforming abattoirs and food factories. This includes developing a benchmark where high-performing plants are inspected less by the authorities, due to their previous high ratings.