Keep up with regulations, retail businesses urged –

Keep up with regulations, retail businesses urged Published:  14 January, 2005

The Food and Drink Federation is urging companies to keep up-to-date with the latest environmental legislation affecting their business by logging on to

NetRegs is an online service providing free, plain language, practical guidance on how to comply with environmental legislation as well as good practice advice to improve environmental performance.

With the food and drink sector now employing around 13% of the entire manufacturing workforce in the UK, David Bellamy, Food Safety and Environment Manager at the Food and Drink Federation, believes that the NetRegs site is now a helpful business tool.

He said: “Every day, it seems, a new piece of environmental legislation comes into force and we are well aware of the difficulties small businesses can experience while trying to keep on top of their environmental responsibilities in that area. The NetRegs website is an online service providing free, plain language, practical guidance on how to comply with environmental legislation. Its aim is to help businesses stay within the law and cut costs in the process.”

Marks and Spencer plc is also a keen user and supporter of the NetRegs website.

Mike Barry, Sustainable Development Manager at Marks and Spencer, explains: “The Food and Drink sector is one of the UK’s largest and most diverse industries. Marks and Spencer is committed to sustainability across all areas of sourcing and manufacturing, and is constantly looking into new methods and better environmental practices.

* is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish European Fish Trader, Fishing Monthly, Fish Farming Today, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Fishermens’ Federation Diary, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.

“As a result, we must have a sound understanding and up-to-date awareness of this complex and continually changing area of legislation. NetRegs is the most accessible and comprehensive legislation tool in recent years.”

Richard Martin, the NetRegs programme manager, believes that the rapidly changing legislation makes it all the more important that people in the industry should have access to a reliable source of help to understand their environmental obligations.

He said: “NetRegs recently commissioned a UK-wide survey into the environmental behaviours of food and drink companies which highlighted that nearly half of the businesses involved would welcome more information and advice on environmental issues.”

The NetRegs website was launched across the UK in May 2004 to help promote the message that good environmental practice makes good business sense. It explains the legal environmental obligations for businesses in the food and drink sector in plain language.

Richard Martin said: “The laws affecting the food and drink manufacturing sector are different depending on whether you are based in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland. NetRegs was developed jointly by the Environment Agency [England & Wales], the Environment and Heritage Service [Northern Ireland] and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. It has a section covering the food and drink sector, specifying businesses’ environmental obligations in each country and I would encourage people to log on and find out more.”