UK manufacturers call for policy makers to get out from behind their desks

Posted by James Ferre on 19th September 2008

Regulators and policy makers need to get out from behind their desks to see what it is really like to work in the food and drink industry, Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Director General Melanie Leech told a major conference in London overnight.

Speaking at the New Regulatory Reform Agenda conference organised by Whitehall & Westminster magazine, Leech said: “I understand the time pressures facing those in Government and its agencies – but if you don’t understand business processes, and the issues facing them every day, how can you regulate intelligently?”

In her speech, Leech added that the UK’s largest manufacturing sector fully supports the Government’s commitment to better regulatory processes – but warned that industry is suffering from ‘consultation overload’ from government. “It is important that we have a say in the policy and regulatory framework that will impact on our businesses,” she noted. “But it does seem sometimes that consultation is an empty process for form’s sake – rather than a meaningful dialogue between trusted partners working to achieve the same objectives. So let’s consult only when the results will be listened to – and genuinely help improve matters.”