Lynne Neagle MS, Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing
Food business operations and consumer behaviours have evolved rapidly over recent years as a consequence of the UK’s exit from the European Union, the Covid-19 pandemic and other global events. Technological developments, business innovation and digital advances are also reshaping the food business landscape and creating new regulatory challenges.
Last year the Food Standards Agency committed to a regulatory review and reform programme to ensure food regulation remains proportionate and appropriate without compromising existing high standards in public protection and consumer confidence.
I wrote to the chair of the Food Standards Agency, Directors of Public Protection in Wales and the Welsh Local Government Association to set out my expectations for this programme, making it clear that any regulatory reform must reflect the business and regulatory landscape in Wales and deliver the same or higher level of food safety standards. I also reiterated the principles by which I expect the Food Standards Agency in Wales, local authorities and Welsh Government officials to work to as set out in the collaborative agreement agreed between these parties and the Wales Local Government Partnership Scheme. This agreement can be found at Review and reform of food business regulation in Wales.
I will keep Senedd Members informed about progress as the programme develops and delivers on its objectives.