FSA presses ahead with full cost recovery
Published:  25 May, 2011

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has rubber stamped plans to charge for meat inspection - however it will not try to recoup its pension deficit via the payments.

n a board meeting held in Belfast this morning, the FSA said the cost of its pension deficit was a government concern and would no longer be passed onto the industry. This reduced the costs by £4.7m to £50.3m and charging will now be introduced over three years from April 2012, once it is ratified by ministers.

The controversial scheme was first mooted last year and the FSA has been consulting the industry and the public on the matter since then.

It held a series of public meetings on the matter in Bath, Carlisle, Colchester and Durham - however the plan has remained extremely unpopular within the meat and farming industries, with key members voicing their concerns this week in a letter to The Times.

The industry has argued that the FSA is an ineffecient monopoly provider.

In light of the strong opposition, the FSA said it was committed to finding further efficiencies.

Tim Smith, chief executive of the FSA, said: “It is in our own interest and that of the consumers, and by definition the industry to seek efficiencies in what we do.”

Board member Clive Grundy said: “We must work even harder to reassure our stakeholders that we remain committed to an improvement regime.”

>> Farming organisations unite against FSA plans