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Importance of Consumers in Food Safety and Quality

Discuss about the Local Government Amalgamation and Financial Sustainability?

The roles of consumers, retailers, manufacturers and the government agencies in the standards and qualities of food in the United Kingdom are immense (Fagotto 2014). Consumers play a vital role in this regard (Lovelock et al. 2014). They possess the rights to expect that the food, which they are buying or consuming, is safe to be consumed and is of good quality too (Lovelock et al. 2014).

Consumers can opine about the procedures followed for food control, the standards and the activities, which are used, by the government and the industries for ascertaining that the food, which is offered, has these features (Osborn 2013). Even if the customers, government and the others play a crucial role to ensure the safety and quality of the food, ultimately in the face of competition, the power to invest in the physical and the managerial resources that are required for implementation of proper controls lies solely with the food industry (Osborn 2013). It is recognized by the private firms that the consumers play an important role in determining their success concerning profitability (Grant 2015). If the consumers buy the same product on a continuous basis, it is indicated that the product satisfies them (Grant 2015). The food producers and marketers, therefore, have a contribution to their product identities which they want to safeguard. Thus, establishing and administering the controls is important for them to make sure that the product fulfills the expectations of the consumers on safety and quality (Oliver 2014). The government agencies to have an important role to play since they are responsible for:

Establishing the standards of safety on a uniform basis so that equal amount of protection is achieved by all the customers,

Applying similar safety levels so that all the food manufacturers are treated equitably and

Informing the customers regarding the standards that are followed regarding the protection (Oliver 2014).

Proffering developed health benefits over a diverse product and a location thereby promoting continual shopping because of closeness to housing and communities.

Influencing planning considerations by portraying the benefits of agglomerated chain of stores

Promotion of culture and leisure

Developing the environment by promotion of local supply chains

The majority of the retailers employ the local wholesalers, and many consumers come to the neighborhood frequently, diminishing the need to visit the shops by using private transport (Ozuduru et al. 2014).

Role of Retailers in Promoting Food Standards and Quality

The manufacturers play a vital part in the standards and the qualities of the food. It is because the consumers will be affected if the quality and standards of the food are not up to the standards and prescribed qualities. The consumers at times to check its nutritional or medicinal value monitor the ingredients, which are put into the produce. There are sanitation requirements too since it are extremely important that the environment where the food is made is clean and the food, which is produced, is safe (Troller 2012).

Consumers, retailers, manufacturers and the government agencies are related to each other closely in the context of standards and qualities of food in United Kingdom (Buzby et al. 2014). It works like a cycle where each one of the above is linked to each other. The consumers are at the end of the cycle since they are the ones consuming the product, which is manufactured after the product passes several stages and steps (Solomon et al. 2012). The manufacturers (Solomon et al. 2012) keep them in mind while designing and manufacturing the product. There are matters relating to standards and quality, which must be looked into, by the producers or the manufacturers, and it is also to be seen that the health of the consumers after consuming the product is not affected detrimentally in any way (Solomon et al. 2012). The manufacturers come after the consumers where they have to observe certain criteria for producing the product as prescribed by the government. It is to be seen that the consumers are deriving maximum benefits out of the produced food and that they are consuming it often, which in turn proves their likeness for that particular food. The retailers present the food from the manufacturers to the consumers. Therefore, they form a direct link in between them thus fulfilling the primary purpose of manufacturing. They make the buying process easier by facilitating the customers by providing options in various forms. The government agencies are linked to this cycle closely as they prescribe the rules and regulations, which need to be followed by all the others in the cycle excepting the consumers. These rules are provided so that the food, which is produced, is safe to be consumed by the consumers.

The main legal base in the legislation of food in the United Kingdom RE THE Food Safety Act, 1990 and the General Food Regulations, 2004 (Rouvière and Latouche 2014). In UK, there is no corporate distinction between the assessment of risk and communication of risk from risk management. The assessments of risks are generally published on the Internet if there are no lawful provisions to prohibit that. The FSA is the main governing body, which governs the safety of food in the United Kingdom (Devaney 2013). It depends on the non-ministerial government department Government Department, which is governed an independent Chairperson and a non-executive board which governs the total strategic direction of the Agency, and to make sure that it is meeting its lawful obligations (Devaney 2013). It is answerable to the British Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly of Wales through the ministers of health. Along with the questions regarding the safety of food, the responsibilities of FSA also includes observing and looking after the local authorities of enforcement. It is a body, which is widely in UK, headquartered in London, and its offices are present in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales for ensuring that its priorities are presented in the country specifically, and the offices work in different areas of work. On issues of relevance, FSA works with the local authorities. The Meat Hygiene Service, which works within FSA, is responsible for inspecting meat in the premises of meat, which are fresh in areas. FSA operates in along with the other things, food additives and contaminating substances, microbiological food safety, feed, GMOs, novel foods, and the additives of the food. Its operations also include areas like nutritive food for the health, labeling of the food and the standards of the food products.

The Vital Contribution of Manufacturers to Food Quality and Standards

There is another body named Defra, which is regulated by the government and along with its other agencies is responsible for the bills and for implementing and to monitor the safety of the food if it does not come under the realm of FSA. Veterinary Medicines Department is an agency, which along with the other responsibilities is liable for assessing, issuing and maintaining the authorizations for marketing nationally for medicinal products used for veterinary purposes and vigilance for residues of those, illegitimate items in animals and its products too and co-ordination of the work regarding anti-microbial intransigence. There is a regulatory body for pesticides, which works on behalf of Defra, namely Chemicals Regulation Directorate. Its activities other than the safety of food include carrying out of a program on the pesticides officially of the remnants of the pesticide testing of the food in the United Kingdom about the prescribed regulations, and the reports are published on quarterly. It is the responsibility of the body to take the right action of an application at times if the regulatory breach of the residue of the levels of pesticide takes place. There are certainly other activities of Defra, for example, for legislating, implementing and inspecting, the responsibilities come under Agricultural/Rural Affairs Departments in the Devolved Administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Defra publishes the assessment of risks in the arena of animal health and their welfare. They also co-operate with the working groups of FSA wherever it is required. It is the responsibility of Defra to manage all the factors of the water policy in England and it operates with the Drinking Water Inspectorate, which is a body that regulates the drinking water quality. The conditions are alike in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The realm of activities of Delta covers along with the safety of food extends to animal health, the welfare of the animals, and the health of the plant. 

There are four countries in UK, and their structure of administration is single-tier. The units are solely responsible for all the tasks, which are regional and locally administered (Andrews 2013). They regulate the laws relating to the food, feed laws, and carry out inspections too, and they are answerable to FSA since they report directly to them. When it regulates the local government authority, the Local Authorities Coordinator of Regulatory Services, it represents the authorities, which operate locally, and it performs coordination of the activities of the local authorities and between them and between Defra and FSA.

Reference List

Andrews, R., 2013. Local government amalgamation and financial sustainability: the case of England and Wales. Public Finance and Management, 13(2), p.124.

Buzby, J.C., Farah-Wells, H. and Hyman, J., 2014. The estimated amount, value, and calories of postharvest food losses at the retail and consumer levels in the United States. USDA-ERS Economic Information Bulletin, (121).

Devaney, L., 2013. Spaces of security, surveillance and food safety: interrogating perceptions of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland's governing technologies, power and performance. The Geographical Journal, 179(4), pp.320-330.

Fagotto, E., 2014. Private roles in food safety provision: the law and economics of private food safety. European Journal of Law and Economics,37(1), pp.83-109.

Grant, R.M., 2015. Contemporary Strategy Analysis 9e Text Only. John Wiley & Sons.

Lovelock, C., Patterson, P.G. and Wirtz, J., 2014. Services marketing. Pearson Australia.

Oliver, R.L., 2014. Satisfaction: A behavioral perspective on the consumer. Routledge.

Osborn, J.E., 2013. Can I Tell You the Truth? A Comparative Perspective on Regulating Off-Label Scientific and Medical Information. Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics, 10(2), p.2.

Ozuduru, B.H., Varol, C. and Ercoskun, O.Y., 2014. Do shopping centers abate the resilience of shopping streets? The co-existence of both shopping venues in Ankara, Turkey. Cities, 36, pp.145-157.

Rouvière, E. and Latouche, K., 2014. Impact of liability rules on modes of coordination for food safety in supply chains. European Journal of Law and Economics, 37(1), pp.111-130.

Solomon, M., Russell-Bennett, R. and Previte, J., 2012. Consumer behaviour. Pearson Higher Education AU.

Troller, J.A., 2012. Sanitation in food processing. Academic Press.

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[Accessed 27 February 2024].

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