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 the FSA is supporting Boardroom Apprentice

The Board of the FSA welcomed a Northern Ireland Boardroom Apprentice in September 2022 and would be keen to take on another this year.  We found the experience of hosting an apprentice  extremely worthwhile.  

The FSA Board 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  provides an immense learning opportunity for any Board apprentice. Operating differently to many Boards, this provides someone with a distinctive experience.

Board members are drawn from across different fields 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 is beneficial to an apprentice joining the Board. 

Board members focus on special areas of interest across the Agency and this is something that provides excellent shadowing experiences for an apprentice.

Based on our experience we know that the Board benefit from hearing the different perspectives and ideas an apprentice brings.

At its core, the FSA as an organisation seeks to invest in its people and this is 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 meeting is held in a location in either England, Northern Ireland or Wales.  Meetings of the Business Committee and the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) are held virtually.

Frequency and timing of board/committee meetings

The FSA Board meetings are held every quarter. Meetings take place, normally from 9am – 2pm. Board meetings are held in public and are also live streamed.

The Business Committee and ARAC also meet quarterly.

Date of Board Meetings (January 2024 – December 2024)

22-23 January 2024, 20 March 2024, 19 June 2024, 18 September 2024, 14-15 October 2024, 11 December 2024

Committee of the Boards and meeting dates (January 2024 – December 2024)

ARAC Meeting: 5 March 2024 – Virtual

Business Committee Meeting: 11 March 2024 – Virtual

Business Committee Meeting: 10 June 2024 – Virtual

ARAC Meeting: 11 June 2024 – Virtual

Business Committee Meeting: 9 September 2024 – Virtual

ARAC Meeting: 10 September 2024 

ARAC Meeting: 26 November 2024 

Business Committee Meeting: 2 December 2024 – Virtual