20 July 1998
Small foodstores exempt from funding FSA?

SMALL foodstores may win an exemption from funding the new Food Standards Agency.

The Governments White Paper on the establishment of the FSA called for a flat £100 charge on all of the UKs 600,000 registered food premises to raise £60 million.

But last weeks comprehensive spending review revealed that charges would be phased in and that there might be a special arrangement for small businesses.

Exemptions could be based on turnover, number of employees or square footage. A graduated licence fee is also under consideration.

The cross-party Commons agriculture committee is among the objectors to any kind of a licensing fee.

It now also looks as though Jeff Rooker, food safety minister, might fail to publish a draft Bill on the agency before the summer recess. Funding details will not be decided until the autumn, says the Financial Times.

  • Financial Times 20/07/98 page 6