Food & Agri Weekly update Friday 2 Dec

Buy your turkey day

The NFU's #BuyMyTurkey campaign returns today, 2 December. The #BuyMyTurkey campaign encourages shoppers to buy their Christmas turkey direct from the farm where it was produced.  Shoppers can find their local turkey producer by putting their postcode into the NFU’s Turkey Finder at: Turkey Finder |  There are over 200 farms on the NFU Turkey Finder

Food inflation  
The British Retail Consortium has reported annual growth of UK food prices rose to 12.4 % in November, up from 11.6 % in October. Fresh food inflation was particularly fast at 14.3 %, up 1 percentage point month on month.

This will amount to a further squeeze for households, particularly poorer ones because they spend on average a larger proportion of their finances on food and energy.

Key Value Items (KVI) tracker

The Grocer has this week launched a new Key Value Items (KVI) tracker to monitor prices and promotions on some of the most popular grocery products – and it’s the price of eggs that is rising fastest across the major multiples, with five of the leading grocery retailers increasing prices on the staple. 

The KVI tracker will complement the long-running Grocer 33 price comparison survey. As well as more items, and available exclusively online here, the KVI will not change from week to week.  Prices and promotions (

National Grid

National Grid has narrowly avoided activating its emergency blackout plan for households for the first time this winter as low wind speeds and nuclear outages affected supply.  They had said they may need to pay households to switch appliances off during tea-time on Tuesday evening but surging power prices in the UK helped pull supply from the continent.  However, the tightness of the market at this stage in the year raises questions over market resilience as well as UK’s power prices.

Prices in Britain for Tuesday’s peak were £1,066.47-£1,205.70 per megawatt hour, compared to £418.89 per megawatt hour in France, Belgium and Holland.

ASA Rulings

The latest ASA adjudications have predominantly concerned fairness in promotions and discounts

Molly Maison  Upheld in part  Social media (influencer or affiliate ad)  30 November 2022 Molly Maison - ASA | CAP

A promotion in Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury’s  Instagram account was examined.

1.  Laws of chance:

The CAP Code required promoters of prize draws to ensure that prizes are awarded in accordance with the laws of chance and, unless winners were selected by a computer process that produced verifiably random results, by an independent person, or under the supervision of an independent person.

Complaint was because the draw was not live it was not clear if the winner was selected at random. However, Molly Maison used a computer programme that did choose a potential winner with verifiably random results.

2. Fairness

The CAP Code required promoters to conduct their promotions equitably, promptly and efficiently and be seen to deal fairly and honourably with participants and potential participants. Promoters were required to avoid causing unnecessary disappointment.

The promotion allowed entrants to qualify for a bonus entry by sharing the promotional post as an Instagram story. However, if the post was shared as an Instagram story from a private account, it would not be possible for @mollymaison to identify whether the entrant had qualified for a bonus entry.

Promotion therefore was not administered fairly.

3. Significant information

The CAP Code required that marketing communications or other material referring to promotions must communicate all applicable significant conditions or information, where the omission of such conditions or information was likely to mislead.

Ad (a) stated the prize draw was only open to entries from UK-based consumers. However, that condition was not stated in the terms and conditions listed in ad (b). We considered that this information was likely to significantly influence consumers’ understanding of the promotion, and was important so that they could make an informed choice about whether or not to enter.

ASA to ensure their future promotions did not omit significant conditions or information.

Trendybuzz  Upheld  Internet (video)  30 November 2022

A paid-for TikTok post by a company irresponsibly trivialised using credit to make purchases. The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.3 (Responsible advertising). The ASA considered the ad suggested that she would be making purchases impulsively and had not given proper consideration to whether or not she would be able to keep up with the card repayments. “I just got my credit card and you better believe I’m getting ready to go shopping right after this” trendybuzz - ASA | CAP

Seafood Fund

UK-wide £100 million Seafood Fund to boost the UK fishing industry through projects to upgrade infrastructure and revive local docks has been announced.  The government has also confirmed a further £30 million will be made available for infrastructure projects. Boost for UK fishing industry with new infrastructure projects - GOV.UK (

Water Pollution

To crack down on water pollution, government has boosted funding for the Environment Agency, with £2.2 million per year specifically for water company enforcement activity, including at least 4,000 farm visits per year and 500 sewerage inspections.

Where water and sewerage companies are found to be breaking the law, they will face substantial penalties.

This can include the Environment Agency imposing civil sanctions or pursuing criminal prosecutions with the courts, for which there can be unlimited fines, and in some cases prosecution of CEOs and company directors where there is evidence against those individuals and where it is in the public interest to prosecute.

Earlier this year, the government announced plans to expand the use of, and raise the cap on, the civil Variable Monetary Payments that the Environment Agency can issue, meaning sanctions can be imposed more often without lengthy and costly court cases.

Ofwat also has the power to issue fines up to 10% of a company’s turnover for the affected business and order companies to take the action necessary to return to compliance where they are in breach.

The EA and Ofwat are currently carrying out the largest criminal and civil investigations into water company sewage discharges ever, at over 2200 treatment works, as a result of increased monitoring.

Earlier this year the government published its Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan, which brought in strict targets on sewage pollution and will require water companies to deliver the largest infrastructure programme in their history to tackle storm sewage discharges – a £56 billion capital investment over 25 years.

Since 2015, the Environment Agency has concluded 56 prosecutions against water and sewerage companies, securing fines of over £141m. 

Under new plans, ringfenced funds will go to Defra and will be invested directly back into environmental and water quality improvement projects.  Water company fines to be channelled into environmental improvements - GOV.UK (

FSA publishes new research on the survival of coronavirus on food and packaging

The Food Standards Agency has published research into the length of time coronavirus can survive on the surface of food and packaging.

The previous risk assessment on this was in 2020 and concluded it was very unlikely that humans could catch the virus from food.

The research shows that the virus’s survival varied depending on the foods and food packaging examined. 

The foods tested were selected because they are commonly sold loose on supermarkets shelves or uncovered at deli counters or market stalls, they may be difficult to wash, and they are often consumed without any further processing i.e. cooking. The food packaging materials were selected as they are the most used food packaging materials or consumption of the product may involve direct mouth contact with the packaging.

Results - The survival rate of the virus varied quite significantly depending on the type of food.  High saturated fat and high protein foods seemed to best support longer covid virus survival.

For all food packaging, there was a significant drop in levels of virus contamination over the first 24 hours.

The public may be interested that in both chilled and ambient conditions at a range of relative humidity levels, some foods and food packaging material can sustain infectious virus for a significant length of time.   

The FSA have confirmed there will be no change to their current advice that additional precautions are not required because of COVID outside of usual good hygiene practices. 

School Food Standards compliance pilot underway in 18 local authorities across England   

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Department for Education (DfE) have launched a School Food Standards Compliance pilot across 18 participating local authorities in England that aims to support schools to comply with the existing School Food Standards.  


The pilot will run in line with the full academic year.  School Food Standards compliance pilot underway in 18 local authorities across England    | Food Standards Agency

A practical guide to the School Food Standards is at School food standards practical guide - GOV.UK (

Schools are also required to use use Sustainable procurement the government buying standards alongside these standards Sustainable procurement: the Government Buying Standards (GBS) - GOV.UK (

FSA board meeting Wednesday 7 December –

Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

Papers have been published in advance of the board meeting FSA Board meeting papers published for December 2022 | Food Standards Agency

The agenda for this meeting includes:

  • Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022
  • In year Prioritisation
  • Operational Transformation Programme and Future Scope
  • FSA Science Update 2022

A full agenda and published papers can be viewed in the Board meeting section

FSA 22-12-04 - This paper provides an update to the Board on progress of the UK Government’s Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, and the FSA’s programme of work until 2026, to support delivery of the Bill and associated reforms.

One of the issues highlighted was that support for reform would need to be cautioned around pursuing legislative change that would result in regulatory divergence for domestic and international food production. 

In relation to the lack of clarity or progress in relation to novel foods, CBD, edible insects and the meat and egg industry it is uncertain exactly how much progress the FSA will make on this vast project.

Updated Catering Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice

The updated version of the guide includes four new sections:

  1. Food crime
  2. Surplus food donating leftover food to charity
  3. Freezing and defrosting of food
  4. Chilled vacuum-packed meats – shelf life

The guide Catering Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice - UKHospitality has been developed by the food industry and is recognised by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland, in accordance with Article 8 of Retained Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004.

An E-copy is free to download.

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Every piece of content we create is correct on the date it’s published but please don’t rely on it as legal advice. If you’d like to speak to us about your own legal requirements, please contact one of our expert lawyers.

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