A call is going out from Sketts Quality Events to back a petition against proposed European legislation which has the potential to drive many market traders and street food vendors out of business.
The Warwickshire-based company is calling on traders, the public and politicians to add their weight to the petition to protect the small business fee exemption clause in the EU Regulation 882/2004 relating to food hygiene inspections.
This Monday, on April 14, MEPs will be voting on the proposed changes to EU regulation 882/2004 which governs official controls in the food and agricultural industry.
One of these changes will require all local authorities to recoup the full cost of food hygiene inspections direct from the businesses.
This means each business will be required to retrospectively pay for the time and costs incurred by Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) for any initial and subsequent inspections.
For any food business this could mean hundreds or even thousands of pounds a year but for event caterers, market traders, street food retailers and pop up retailers this could be significantly higher.
The reason for this is that caterers can undergo up to 20 environmental health inspections a year throughout the events season. This will potentially cost small and start-up businesses thousands of pounds that they simply can't afford.
Sketts partner Paul Skett said: “Small businesses, market traders and street food providers are vital in our town centres and communities and this single piece of legislation could be the difference between viability and no longer trading for many businesses. I urge everyone to join this petition.”