Opportunity for innovation post-Brexit

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Brexit offers unparalleled innovation opportunities for the UK food and drink industry, so long as firms are prepared for regulatory changes, according to a leading food science expert.

In this exclusive video – filmed at Food Manufacture’s​ Food Safety Conference 2018 at etc. Venues in Birmingham – John Bassett, policy and scientific development director at the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST), said: “The changing environment around setting our own regulations would mean we would be able to do things differently in terms of innovation.”

‘European attitudes on risk’

“New areas that are currently not open to us because of European attitudes on risk – we have an opportunity to re-examine those.”

Changes in regulation could lead to doors being opened for technologies that the EU would have been against, such as genetically modified organisms, providing opportunities for UK business.

Bassett urged food and drink firms to be prepared for when the Brexit transition period ended in 2020 and be up to speed on the regulatory environment when the UK left the EU.

Regulatory environment

“If you’re an exporter, then having knowledge of which products you’re going to be sending to the EU and which product you’ll be keeping in the UK, because the regulatory environment for those will be different,”​ he added.

“Ultimately there will be a slow, but growing divergence in things like food labelling, possibly around health claims.”

Many of these problems can be solved by hiring the right people, explained Bassett, especially those with regulatory expertise. This would help identify potential problems post-Brexit.

Entitled ‘A focus on future law and threats’, Food Manufacture’s Food Safety Conference 2018 was held at etc.venues Maple House, Birmingham. It was sponsored by AIB International, Pal International, and Westgate Factory Dividers.

Please click this link​ to register your interest for next year’s conference.

Meanwhile, collaboration was the key take-home message​ from this year’s Food Safety Conference, according to Campden BRI director general Steven Walker.

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1 comment

On the other hand...

Posted by Simon Pugh,

...Brexit also 'offers' unparalleled increases in complexity, costs, supply chain delays in a context of reduced sales. What's not to like?

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