BMPA issues advice on FSA proposal

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has written to abattoir operators regarding money owed on EU minima charges.

In a letter sent on 5 April, the FSA gave abattoir operators the opportunity to make a choice on the invoices sent by the FSA for a shortfall on a substantial amount of money owed by UK operators on EU minimum charging in 2011/2012.

According to the letter, the FSA is "prepared to settle this matter" on the basis that, if 50% of the charges are paid by the industry, 50% will be written off. The offer made by the FSA on the condition that a current judicial review surrounding the issue is stopped. The FSA has secured Treasury backing in order to settle the matter.

In response to the letter, director of the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) Stephen Rossides has written to the trade through, urging operators to accept the offer made by the FSA.

In the letter Rossides explained that certain parties had challenged the FSA’s legal right to make meat inspection charges through a judicial review. He said the BMPA had sought legal advice and was told there was no certain outcome if legal action was taken, which would be a costly matter.

Rossides told in an interview that the BMPA had "a very firm view here that this is a sensible way out". He explained that avoiding legal action on both parts was what the BMPA wanted, outlining it was a "fair and balanced offer that avoids potentially unsuccessful, lengthy and costly legal action". He said settling with the FSA would avoid damaging relations with the organisation at a time when there were a number of other important issues to progress with the Agency, both here and in Brussels.


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