In a letter published in The Times today, senior representatives of eight organisations said that the charges would cost the industy up to £25m, and cause irreparable damage to the meat and livestock industry. They cited wider implications for the food economy, employment, consumer choice, future food security, landscape and the environment.
They said that full-cost recovery must not be imposed until the FSA’s own meat inspection system is radically overhauled.
However, they welcomed the proposals of the Farming Regulation Task Force’s report into better regulation of the farming and food businesses.
Signatories included Richard Stevenson of the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders, the President of the Country Land & Business Association and senior representatives of the NFU, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, the Soil Association and the National Trust.