October 21, 2008
The UK meat industry must be prepared to bear its fair share of costs for meat inspection services in order to improve food safety standards, according to Food Standards Agency chief executive Tim Smith.
Public health is their priority and it is the job of food businesses to ensure the safety of meat production, while the agency's role is to oversee and enforce the controls that help deliver that, Smith said.
The current level of subsidy to the meat industry cannot be maintained and therefore the meat industry is expected to make progressively increased contribution towards the cost, said Smith, adding that the industry must look for efficient ways to lower costs while maintaining service to the consumer.
According to Smith, business costs need to be kept as low as possible, and the key to optimising and modernising the MHS is agreeing, at individual site-level, the staffing levels and associated cover needed, which may lead to significant improvements in efficiency.
Smith added that communication would also be the key to success, and establishing mutual trust is important as success would come easier through partnership and cooperation rather than confrontation.