VMD launches food monitoring scheme consultation

29th January 2024
Industry News

The VMD has launched a consultation on plans that could see food businesses paying more towards a monitoring scheme for products of animal origin.

Officials say the cost of providing the National Residues Control Programme (NRCP) have risen by 17% in the current financial year and are likely to increase further.

The scheme is designed to identify residues of banned substances, veterinary medicines and other potential contaminants in animal-based products destined for the human food chain, including meats, fish, eggs and milk.

Sample analysis

It is estimated that more than 30,000 samples are collected and analysed across Great Britain every year through the programme.

Under the proposals published on 17 January, businesses would see their payments increase in both the 2024-25 and 2025-26 financial years, with the exact amounts varying between sectors, based on their sampling and testing arrangements.

Documents released as part of the consultation process said the increases would be the first imposed since 2011 and are necessary to help meet the costs of delivering the scheme, which are expected to reach £6.1 million by 2026 and continue rising by an average of 10% per year over the next five years.

Uniform rise

A uniform rise of 65% has also been put forward as an option, although the report warned that would be “disproportionate” in some sectors.

VMD chief executive Abi Seager added: “The National Residues Control Programme is fundamental to providing assurance to the UK’s trading partners about the quality and safety of exported products of animal origin.

“The proposals outlined will ensure that we can continue to run this important programme, which helps to support international trade worth billions of pounds a year to the UK economy.”

Full details of the NRCP consultation, which will remain open until 28 March, can be found on Defra’s Consultation Hub.


Credit to:  VMD launches food monitoring scheme consultation (Vet Times)

Vet Times. (2023).  VMD launches food monitoring scheme consultation [online]

Available at:  https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/vmd-launches-food-monitoring-scheme-consultation/