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Cuts Hit Safer Food Better Business
p>The latest area to be hit by government spending controls is the Food Standards Agency’s Safer Food Better Business scheme. Originally established as a means of helping small businesses to meet the requirements of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) the system has proved a great success with almost half a million resource packs being issued since 2005. Budget cuts now mean that materials will only be available electronically from the agency website www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/caterers/sfbb with pending orders of materials in hard copy being stopped with immediate effect. The move will come as a blow to small businesses and Local Authorities who will be forced to download and print their own resource packs. The FSA are preparing a lower resolution printer friendly copy of materials which will be available on their website from 14th June. They are also applying for finance to resume the supply of hard copies in the future.
A recent survey by the National Audit Office concluded that 15% of the population had never accessed the internet while charity GO ON UK estimate that only one in three SME’s have a digital presence. The move is also likely to cause greater problems in rural areas where a 2012 survey by Freelancer.co.uk identified a widening gap in the quality of internet access.