Artisan Food Law Blog

24.01.2016 - 10:54
Flour - maybe not so pure as you might think ...

The Scottish Government is calling for UK flour to be fortified with synthetic folic acid in order to reduce birth defects, especially neural tube conditions such as spina bifida. The UK government is still considering its position after positive recommendations from its advisors, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). No-one can argue against the desirability of improving the diet and health of women before and during pregnancy, nor dismiss the Scottish government’s concern that low folate status affects deprived communities most severely. Putting synthetic folic acid in flour is an attractively simple solution, but it would be a big mistake. Andrew Whitley of Bread Matters explains why the fortification of flour with folic acid would be a big mistake.

Comments: 150
15.12.2015 - 16:51
Sole of Discretion

The Sole of Discretion will create a new supply chain which fairly rewards responsible fishers. Consumers will get fresh, high quality fish despatched or frozen within hours of a catch being landed. Sole of Discretion will put provenance, quality and fairness at the heart of its business model.

Yes, this is a crowdfunding project, but if you care about food and have a conscience it is one you must seriously consider!

Comments: 0
05.12.2015 - 12:50
Food waste and COP21

The grand political narratives around the COP21 conference in Paris will barely touch on one crucial aspect – food. The Paris talks are of vital importance, not just for climate change itself but for framing what kind of food economy follows. And why does food matter for climate change? Well, it’s a major factor driving it yet barely gets a mention. Tim Lang and Rebecca Wells from London's City University make the case for systemic change.

Comments: 0
20.08.2015 - 16:34
Hygiene Flexibilities - Fit for Purpose?

Do EU hygiene rules unduly constrain artisan food producers in the quality and range of food they are able to make? Artisan Food Law is working with Slow Food International on a study across Europe into this critical issue. The first stage will focus on artisan cheese and dairy production and we will be using the opportunity presented by Slow Cheese in Bra, Italy next month to further our research.

The refrain that EU food hygiene rules are excessive and place a disproportionate burden on small scale food producers is often heard, usually expressed in a despairing tone of voice. What may be reasonable in regulating industrial and factory processed food is out of all proportion to what is necessary in small scale food production. Do you have a story to tell? We would like to hear from you ... read on.

Comments: 198
28.05.2015 - 15:46
A true artisan cheesemaker

Early last year the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) embarked on a consultation with a view to producing guidance that would help protect the integrity of certain marketing terms used in relation to food – notably ‘artisan’, ‘farmhouse’, ‘traditional’ and ‘natural’.

Attempts to define in any legal sense the meaning of words can be fraught with difficulty, but given there is so much evidence of the abuse of words like ‘artisan’ may be it’s worth a try.

Comments: 0
04.05.2015 - 11:04
3 for £10 chicken or raw milk - which is riskier?

Comparisons can be fraught with difficulty, but all food carries some degree of risk and all risks are relative. Supermarket chicken and raw drinking milk are two foods in the news headlines recently, how do they compare?

The British Poultry Council estimates that in 2013 about 870 million chickens were bred, hatched, reared, and slaughtered in the UK and the equivalent of another 400 million birds were imported, mainly from Europe. A total of 1,270 million. There are no official figures for raw milk sales, but best estimates suggest that around 1.2 million litres or just over 2.1 million pints of raw drinking milk are presently consumed in the UK every year.

Comments: 360
13.02.2015 - 13:20
Rare burgers - a vanishing food?

This post is an updated version of ‘ The FSA and so-called ‘risky’ foods’ which was published on 2 November 2014. Since then the Board of the FSA has met twice to consider the ‘risky’ foods framework and, more recently, burgers served rare.

A seemingly innocuous discussion paper was presented to the Board of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) early last November. ‘Our Approach to “Risky” Foods’ set out a significant new approach to the management of so-called ‘risky’ foods.

Comments: 0
12.12.2014 - 11:14
Food labels have changed

The milestone for many food producers this month is not Christmas, but 13 December – food labelling day when the food information to consumers (FIC) Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 comes into effect. It’s worth remembering what it’s all about: protecting health and providing information, that’s the stated aim of the FIC, as it appears now to be more affectionately known.

The long awaited new labelling regime seems to be the source of widespread confusion and consternation among food producers and retailers, not to mention restaurants coping with allergen labelling, or at least it is if you believe the trade press. The presence of allergens in food has dominated media coverage, an important change but let’s not overlook the rest.

Comments: 0

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