Scottish standards body urges meat industry to improve compliancy

The newly formed Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has urged the meat industry to improve its compliancy in order to be “best in class”, at this year’s Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) conference in Glasgow last weekend.

Ross Finnie, chairman of the FSS, which was launched on 1 April 2015, told delegates its compliancy with Food Standards Agency regulation was not as good as it could be – with a higher proportion on the lower-compliance categories and less in the higher-compliance category compared to the rest of the UK.

Finnie said in order to tackle this, the meat industry and FSS must communicate and engage with each other effectively, highlighting that “good compliance promotes growth”.

However, Alan McNaughton, SAMW president said the data used to produce compliancy graphs should be scrutinised cautiously.

Finnie continued: “The meat industry in Scotland presents itself with a premium product and we want to present ourselves as a premium regulatory body. We want to be best in class, so do the meat industry. If we work together, we can achieve a mutual objective, but we can only do it by working together.”

Asked whether the FSS needed to repair relationships between the meat industry and its regulators, Finnie told Meat Trades Journal that the two had a “pretty good relationship, but there is always room for improvement. This is about the quality of the people and their attitudes towards each other when we are implementing legislation - that will be very important to Food Standards Scotland.”

McNaughton also delivered a positive message to delegates about FSS: “In Food Standards Scotland, we have a fresh start and opportunity to create a high-grade, high-trust and high-standard industry, which is working together and pulling in the same direction. That’s a change which we should all celebrate.”

He continued: “It’s also extremely good to be able to start working with an open and accessible food standards body, freed – as FSS is – from the rigid and inflexible remoteness that so often controlled the former structure.”

McNaughton went on to say he remained confident “that the new body will be successful in stripping out costs in comparison to the old system”.

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