Is the UK about to launch a food price cap?
The UK Government is reportedly speaking to the food and beverage industry on plans to introduce a voluntary price cap on certain items to ease the impact of food inflation. But there has been real push back this week on the application of this.
“Extended producer responsibility” (EPR) scheme - business asks for delay due to costs
Retailers and food manufacturers have been pushing to delay EPR reforms that would force them to pay for the collection and recycling of household packaging waste from next year.
Food producers and retailers that sell own-brand products will be obliged to report packaging waste data from January next year and pay the full cost of packaging waste disposal from April. The changes apply to companies with turnover of £1m or more, and the money would be paid to local councils to help fund bin collections.
Business leaders argue the scheme will cost at least £1.7bn a year, saying the bulk of the cost would be passed on to consumers through higher prices on the supermarket shelves.
Deposit Return Scheme to be aligned across UK but glass bottles are out
On 26 May the UK Government confirmed it would grant the scheme an UK Internal Market Act (IMA) exemption if Scotland's deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers was aligned with one it plans to roll out in England in October 2025
Although plastic drinks containers and cans could be included, the UK Government compromise plan would see glass bottles excluded.
Similar labelling and barcodes would also be introduced in both schemes, allowing customers to return empty containers anywhere in the UK and removing trade barriers the DRS would have otherwise created between Scotland and England.
However, compensation claims by shops that have installed recycling points for his deposit return scheme to include glass bottles have been reported as likely.
The Scottish Grocers' Federation (SGF) said its members would require compensation from the SNP-Green administration at Holyrood after they installed “expensive” reverse vending machines to handle glass returns by customers.
Dr Pete Cheema, the trade body's chief executive, stated the UK Internal Market Act (IMA) exemption - needed so that the scheme applied to glass bottles imported from the rest of the UK and abroad - “should have been sorted out before” ministers pressed ahead with the scheme.
Scotland scraps plans to ban energy drink sales to children
Scotland will not pursue a ban on sales of energy drinks to children and young people, saying there is not enough evidence the policy would be successful. Public health minister Jenni Minto revealed the government will not take forward proposals to ban the sale of energy drinks to under-16s. Jenni Minto said: “Rather than introduce the Public Health (Restriction of Promotions) Bill, I instead plan to consult on the detail of proposed regulations this autumn.
“This includes proposals to restrict the promotion of less healthy food and drinks in prominent locations in store, for example at the end of aisles and beside checkouts.
“We also propose to target certain price promotions which encourage people to buy more than they actually need, for example multibuys and unlimited refills.”
CMA Open Letter to the Food Sector
The CMA has published an open letter An open letter from the CMA to the groceries sector - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) which provides more information on the work it will carry out in relation to groceries and the costs of living. The letter states that the CMA is not aware of any specific competition issue with respect to the retail supply of groceries but will be conducting further work (using public data). The CMA will also consider whether there are any specific products which should be examined closer. The CMA intends to publish its initial findings in the summer and has invited interested stakeholders to engage with the CMA to provide views.
EFSA launch African Swine Fever awareness campaign
Since 2017, more than 2.3 million pigs were lost due to African Swine Fever ASF in Europe.
There is no vaccine for African swine fever (ASF) in Europe, so an outbreak can lead to the slaughter of a great number of farm-kept pigs in an affected area.
Because an ASF outbreak can have such devastating effects, detection, prevention and reporting are key to curbing this deadly disease. Please see StopASF - Science, safe food, sustainability (europa.eu)
Defra - new technology and innovative farming methods competition
Farmers and growers can now apply for the new competition for up to
£1 million in project costs to drive the development of new technology and innovative farming methods, with a focus on practical solutions that make a real impact on farms.
- find new ways to detect pests and prevent and manage disease
- help farmers to reduce their fertiliser use
- boost soil resilience
- manage threats from extreme weather and flooding
Projects researching how gene editing and methods such as regenerative cropping could boost productivity and crop resilience are also encouraged to apply.
Deadline is 19 Jule 2023 more information available at Funding available for environmentally resilient farming solutions - Farming (blog.gov.uk).
Animal Health and Welfare Grant
A reminder that you have only two weeks left to apply for the Animal Health and Welfare Equipment and Technology grant. The portal for applications will close at midday on Thursday 15 June.
The grant is open to livestock farmers who keep cattle, pigs, sheep, laying hens or broiler chickens. The grant supports investment in equipment and technology by offering between £1,000 and £25,000 towards the cost of selected items, all listed in Annex 4 of the guidance
Open consultation - Taxation of environmental land management and ecosystem service markets
The government is exploring elements of the tax treatment of ecosystem service markets and environmental land management.
Part 1 of this document is a call for evidence on the tax treatment of the production and sale of ecosystem service units
Part 2 of this document is a consultation about the scope of agricultural property relief from inheritance tax.
Consultation closes 9 June Taxation of environmental land management and ecosystem service markets - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Upheld Email, Internet (website content), Social media (own site) 31 May 2023
An email, website and Instagram post for an online food supplement provider, made unauthorised health claims and claimed to prevent, treat, or cure human disease.
A large number of claims re gut health, helps support claims, mental health, mood and sleep were all found to be health claims. An interesting case due to the range of claims addressed.
- Upheld Social media (influencer or affiliate ad) 31 May 2023
Three posts on an alcohol brand’s Instagram account broke ASA rules by featuring the rapper ArrDee who is under 25 years of age and encouraged excessive and irresponsible consumption of alcohol. ie 'getlit' as a slogan.