CHANCELLOR OF the Exchequer Gordon Brown has made a commitment to streamline agriculture”s inspection bodies.

The Chancellor”s announcement, contained in last week”s Budget, follows the Hampton Review, which considered ways in which the administrative burden on businesses could be reduced.

Over the next four years the number of agricultural inspection bodies will be reduced from 22 to five. Their remits will cover food safety, the countryside, agriculture, animal health and environmental protection.

DEFRA has said, once fully implemented, inspectorates will be required to share data removing the need for farmers to provide similar information again and again to different bodies.

Risk assessments will also be used to decide which inspections are to be carried out. Those with good records for complying with regulation will be inspected less frequently.

Donald Curry, chairman of Dairy UK said reports such as the Hampton review sent a clear message to government of the difficulties faced by businesses.