Carving out bureaucracy

Posted on 6 May 2011 by The Manufacturer

The government’s promise to allow business and civil input into plans to cut red tape casts its net over the food and drink industry from today for two weeks

The Red Tape Challenge has already opened up existing business regulation in the retail and transport sectors for public review and has received thousands of responses from businesses and individuals giving clear thoughts on why current regulations are faulty and ways in which they could be improved to foster growth.

The food and drink industry, the UK’s largest manufacturing sector in terms of employment with around 400,000 direct employees, joins the bureaucratic crunch today for a period of two weeks. The food and drink industry, due to the consumable nature of its products, is one of the UKs most heavily regulated sectors and the next two weeks represent an important window of opportunity for those who have knowledge of food and drink business processes to ensure that future regulation is rational and does not inhibit the ability of their businesses to prosper.

Urging their members not to let this opportunity slip by FDF director of communications Terry Jones said: “This is a chance for members to tell Government what doesn’t, and equally what does, work. If Whitehall officials can’t provide a good enough reason for a regulation to be in place, it could be scrapped. There is only a two week window of opportunity to comment on the regulations that affect the food and drink sector.”

That being said, the manufacturing sector in general will have another opportunity to contribute to the Red Tape Challenge between June 16 and 23. The coming two weeks however represent the best chance to address the many food and drink specific regulations which impact on production and distribution, Jones also commented: “The food and drink industry is one of the most closely regulated industries in the UK and as its products are used daily by consumers we agree that reasonable controls are necessary. But we’ve reached a point where regulation is stifling our ability to innovate, to maintain competitive advantage at home and abroad and to create the employment flexibility that is critical to a hi-tech and fast-moving manufacturing industry.

Manufacturers in the food and drink sector can get involved with this unprecedented opening up of government policy formation by visiting the Red Tape challenge website and reviewing all the existing legislation around food and drink in the UK which has been published on the site today.