Established in 2000 following several high-profile outbreaks of foodborne illness, the FSA is an independent government department working to protect public health and consumers’ wider interests in relation to food and feed in Northern Ireland, England and Wales. The FSA is governed by a Board but is accountable in each of the three nations to the UK Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly and Welsh Parliament via the relevant Health Minister.

The Food Standards Act 1999 sets out the Agency’s duties and powers. The three main duties are to: advise the public and the government about food safety; protect consumers through enforcement and monitoring and; support consumer choice through accurate and meaningful labelling. 

Our work not only protects people, but also supports industry and the UK economy and trade by ensuring that our food has a strong reputation for safety and authenticity in the UK and abroad. We are responsible for systems that regulate food businesses and we are at the forefront of tackling food crime. Our work is underpinned by the latest science and evidence and agreed at our open Board meetings. Transparency is a guiding principle for the FSA and key to maintaining public confidence.

At its heart, the mission of the FSA is to ensure that food is safe and what it says it is.

Professor Susan Jebb Chair

Emily Miles Chief Executive

Why Food Standards Agency Board is supporting Boardroom Apprentice

The Board of the FSA is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the organisation. With a dedication to being open and transparent, the FSA has a unique stature which could provide an immense learning opportunity for any Board apprentice. Operating differently to many Boards, this could provide someone with a distinctive experience.

Board members are drawn from across different organisations, fields and services and therefore have a wealth of experience to help guide and inspire an apprentice. The current Board members also have a rich and diverse level of Board experience which could also be beneficial to an apprentice joining the Board. 

More recently, Board members have been looking and investing in particular remit areas across the Agency and this is something that would provide for excellent shadowing experience for an apprentice.

However, we are conscious that this experience is not just for the apprentice. The Board of the FSA is always open to new concepts and perspectives and would be keen to see what ideas an apprentice could bring and what could be gained from a fresh perspective.

At its core, the FSA as an organisation seeks to invest in its people and this would provide an opportunity for the Board to do just that.

Location of Board and Committee Meetings

Given the FSA’s 3-country remit, each quarterly Board and Business Committee meeting is held in a location in either England, Northern Ireland or Wales. The majority of meetings are held in England but the Board holds a meeting in Northern Ireland and Wales every other year.

The Northern Ireland Food Advisory Committee (an advisory Committee to the FSA Board, focusing on Northern Ireland) meetings are all held in Northern Ireland. The majority are held at the FSA’s office in Belfast but from time to time will be held at other locations throughout Northern Ireland.

Frequency and timing of board/committee meetings

The FSA Board and Business Committee meetings are usually held together every quarter. Meetings take place during the day, normally from 9am – 1pm. Board and Business Committee meetings are held in public and are also live streamed.

The Northern Ireland Food Advisory Committee meets in open session 4 times a year and also meets in closed session 4 times a year. The open meetings usually take place from 9.30am – 1pm and the closed meetings last approximately 2 hours. 

Date of Board Meetings (September 2022 – August 2023)

14 September 2022 – FSA Board and Business Committee

7 December 2022 – FSA Board and Business Committee

The Board meeting dates for 2023 will be confirmed later this week.

Committee of the Boards and meeting dates (September 2022 – August 2023)

The current agreed dates for the Northern Ireland Food Advisory Committee are:

6 September 2022 (closed)
20 October 2022 (open)

29 November 2022 (closed)