British Retail Consortium (BRC) lobbying has led to a “massive victory” for grocers in the UK, according to the organisation’s Food Director Andrew Opie.
With support from the Food Standards Agency, the group announced this week that it has saved the British grocery industry £280 million by successfully prompting a change to forthcoming European food traceability regulations.
If the policy in question, proposal 1490/2007, had been adopted in its previous format, British grocers would have been required to implement a “completely unnecessary and costly alteration” to the way they collect traceability data for products containing animal foodstuffs.
Opie commented: “In its previous form the proposed regulation offered no practical benefits, just unnecessary costs and we’re delighted that our intervention has prompted these sensible changes.
“British grocers have the most robust and sophisticated traceability systems in the world.
They can respond to any product recall immediately and are capable of providing full information on the provenance of any item on the supermarket shelf within a matter of hours.
“The unaltered regulation would not have improved traceability or public safety - its only result would have been to add huge additional cost.”
UK grocers were also recently boosted by the news that the Office of Fair Trading has decided to drop its investigation into alleged price-fixing between the big retailers and industry suppliers.
Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons were among the companies which had been under scrutiny since the review began in April 2008, but the watchdog now deems the case closed.