Daily Update

18th January

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Critical Infrastructure Workers – England Only

 

We have had several members contact us asking about the 100,000 critical workers who the Government have identified as being ‘critical’ and asking why their businesses have been overlooked. We discussed this point during a meat and poultry industry trade association meeting with Defra yesterday.

 

People covered by the scheme will include those who work in critical national infrastructure, national security, transport, and food distribution and processing. This includes vital roles in Border Force, Police and Fire and Rescue Services control rooms, electricity generation, test kit warehouses and test labs.

 

The full list of roles that have been identified for the 100,000 workers are on the NHS Test and Trace in the workplace Click Here

 

The official from Defra also told us that they have only just started to send out the kits, this despite them being available from 10th January. 

 

For our part we have made the case to Defra at the highest level for members who process meat and poultry and supply the NHS, Care Homes, Schools etc. however their response has been one of 100,000 is not many when spread across so many roles within the country’s nation infrastructure.

 

The advice remains that members and their staff should continue to access lateral flow test kits from the following 4 routes.

 

  1. Local pharmacy: To find your local pharmacy with kits: Click Here

  2. via Gov.UK - Click Here

  3. From a local community collection site - Click Here

  4. From a Test Site - Click Here

 

Avian Influenza

 

Avian influenza (bird flu): cases and disease control zones in England

 

Updated the document 'Rules on meat produced from poultry and farmed game birds originating in the Protection Zone' Click Here

 

REMINDER: CO2

 

The agreement that the Government has with CFF Industries to produce fertilizer/CO2 finishes at the end of January. This could result in a shortfall in supply of CO2 so please remember to re-fill you tanks before the end of the month.

 

If you are able to switch to alternative slaughter methods you may wish to ensure that the necessary equipment is operational.

 

We did note this statement on the CFF website (made back in September: “We look forward to working with Secretary Kwarteng and the UK government on developing a longer-term solution, including the development of alternative suppliers of CO2 for the UK market.” And have asked Defra to speak with BEIS to find out if there has been any progress and whether there is any anticipation for their being a possibility of disruption to supplies

 

Pork returns to TV screens this month

 

Running from Monday 17th January to Sunday 27th February, the new campaign kicks off with three weeks of TV advertising. 

 

A full 30-second advert Click Here supported by a 10-second version encourages consumers to consider pork medallions as a healthy midweek meal option.

 

For further details on the campaign: Click Here

 

AHDB are keen to see the industry get behind the campaign and to promote the assets via social media.

 

To download the 4 social media recipe assets: Click Here

 

Coronavirus Update

 

Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread Click Here

 

The guidance has been updated to bring it into line with all other coronavirus announcements to explain that from Monday 17th January, people with COVID-19 in England can end their self-isolation after 5 full days, as long as they test negative on day 5 and day 6.

 

NHS Test and Trace: what to do if you are contacted Click Here

 

The guidance has been updated to reflect changes to the self-isolation advice for people who have received a positive COVID-19 test result and information for contacts who are not required to self-isolate.

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

Click Here to return to Members Area

17th January

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

International road haulage: HGV driver documents Click Here

 

Updated the 'Drivers’ hours documents and tachographs' Click Here as drivers who have been sick or taken time off in the 28 days before their journey no longer need to carry an attestation form. 

 

They must now record annual leave or sick leave using a tachograph’s manual inputs or by making a manual record of it on an analogue record sheet or on digital printout paper.

 

Avian Influenza

 

Avian influenza (bird flu): cases and disease control zones in England Click Here

 

Revocation of the avian influenza Surveillance Zone, near Annan, Dumfriesshire, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

 

Revocation of the Surveillance Zone Near Leominster, North Herefordshire, Herefordshire.

 

Coronavirus Update

 

Test and Trace Support Payment scheme: claiming financial support Click Here – Applies to England Only

 

The guidance Click Here has been updated to clarify Test and Trace Support Payment eligibility: a positive COVID-19 PCR test or an assisted rapid lateral flow test

 

The £500 Test and Trace Support Payment is for people on low incomes who have to self-isolate because they have:

 

• Tested positive for COVID-19 following a PCR test or an assisted lateral flow device (LFD) test; or

 

• Been notified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and they are not exempt from self-isolation.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for pregnant employees 

 

Updated to provide additional guidance to pregnant employees and employers of women who are 26 weeks pregnant and beyond, and details on JCVI advice that pregnant women are more at risk of severe COVID-19 disease. Click Here

 

COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection Click Here

 

The guidance has been updated to reflect changes to the self-isolation advice for people who have received a positive COVID-19 test results.

 

The self-isolation advice for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed. It is now possible to end self-isolation after 5 full days if you have 2 negative LFD tests taken on consecutive days. 

 

The first LFD test should not be taken before the fifth day after your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you did not have symptoms). 

 

The self-isolation period remains 10 full days for those without negative results from 2 LFD tests taken a day apart

 

National Cyber Security Centre Threat Report 14th January 2022 Click Here

 

Microsoft security update – January 2022

 

The Microsoft January 2022 security update has been issued and fixes several security vulnerabilities.

 

The NCSC recommends following vendor best practice advice in the mitigation of vulnerabilities. In this case, the most important aspect is to install the latest patches as soon as practicable.

 

You can find more information on Microsoft's website: Click Here

 

Members in Wales

 

Written Statement: Review of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No.5) (Wales) Regulations 2020 Click Here

 

The announcement covered the following with key points for members highlighted in red

 

From Friday 21st January, all outdoor activities will move to alert level zero:  

  • We will remove limits on the number of people who can take part in outdoor activities.

  • Crowds will be able to return to outdoor sporting events.

  • Outdoor hospitality will be able to operate without additional reasonable measures, such as the rule of six and table service requirements.

  • The Covid Pass will continue to be required for entry to larger outdoor events.

Provided the downward trend continues, from Friday 28th January, we will move to alert level zero for all indoor activities and premises.

  • Nightclubs will be able to re-open.

  • Businesses, employers and other organisations must continue to undertake a specific coronavirus risk assessment and take reasonable measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus.

  • The general requirement of 2m social distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces will be removed.

  • The rule of six will no longer apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.

  • Licensed premises will no longer need to only provide table service and collect contact details.

  • Working from home will remain part of advice from the Welsh Government but it will no longer be a legal requirement.

  • The Covid Pass will continue to be required to enter larger indoor events, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

 

All other alert level zero rules, including those for self-isolation for all those who test positive for Covid and requirements to wear face-coverings for most public indoor places will remain in force after 28 January.

NSA Breakfast Club Webinar - Who will eat UK Sheep meat in 2022? A review of work abroad to promote your product

 

We attended this webinar last week. To watch it (60 minutes) Click Here

 

Plastic Packaging Tax

 

HM Revenue & Customs have brought all guidance in relation to the plastic packaging tax onto a single web-page: Click Here

 

Register a group of companies for Plastic Packaging Tax Click Here

 

The guidance has been updated to include the 10 tonnes threshold that each company must meet

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

Click Here to return to Members Area

14th January

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Slaughter Incentive Payment Scheme 2022 Click Here

 

Following Tuesday’s AIMS Update the Slaughter Incentive Payment Scheme (SIPS) has now been opened. 

 

The Slaughter Incentive Payment Scheme 2022 Expression of interest form Click Here has been updated.

 

The key dates are as follows:

 

  • 14 January 2022: Scheme opens. First date additional shifts can be worked

 

  • 31 March 2022: Anticipated date that scheme closes. Last date additional shifts can be worked (unless the scheme limit of 100,000 pigs slaughtered is reached sooner or if applications for the PSA scheme are closed earlier as set out in the PSA guidance): Click Here

 

  • 1 April 2022: Claims open

 

  • 29 April 2022: Claims close

 

If you have any questions, or need help, you can contact either AIMS or the RPA.

 

The RPA’s contact details are:

Email trader@rpa.gov.uk - write ‘Slaughter Incentive Payment Scheme 2022’ in the subject line.

Telephone: 03300 416 500
Opening times: Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm, except bank holidays.

 

Help and support for employing people Click Here

 

Links to register for live webinars about Research and Development tax relief for small and medium-sized businesses have been added: Click Here

 

Register for the next live webinar about research and development tax relief for small and medium-sized businesses.

 

Tuesday 18th January 2022 11:45 to 12:45. To register for your free place: Click Here

 

This webinar provides an overview of Research and Development tax relief for small and medium sized businesses. Find out what it is, who qualifies and how to claim.

 

Coronavirus Update

 

Self-isolation for those with COVID-19 can end after five full days following two negative LFD tests Click Here

 

From Monday, 17th January, people with COVID-19 in England can end their self-isolation after five full days, as long as they test negative on day 5 and day 6.

 

Leaflets for hauliers about new rules for moving goods between the EU and Great Britain Click Here

 

Both leaflets are now available in Portuguese.

 

The Bulgarian translations of both leaflets have been corrected.

 

Avian Influenza

 

Avian influenza (bird flu): cases and disease control zones in England Click Here

 

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in commercial poultry at premises near Tattenhall, Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire and at a second premises near Tattenhall, Cheshire West and Chester. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around each of the premises

 

AIMS Friday Insights

 

AIMS Friday Insight is a quick look at some of the market research, market reports and general updates from across the world of retail and foodservice which you may not have caught up on in the last 7 days.

 

A new report has been published by Nestle and Footprint Intelligence Click here. Called ‘Empowering Sustainability Heroes’ the report opens with the statement:

 

“Sustainability has become even more important since the pandemic. Consumers expect it, governments are legislating for it, and businesses are practicing it – benefiting from the operational efficiencies and reputational advantages it creates.”

 

Before making several statement, some of which are listed below:

 

  • Food accounts for 15% of humanity’s daily carbon impact. To meet 2030 reduction targets, we need to cut that by at least one fifth

 

  • 1 in 6 meals are eaten outside of the home2 – so hospitality is a big part of the equation

 

  • Food wasted every year by UK hospitality and foodservice is equivalent to 1.3 billion meals. That’s one in six of the 8 billion meals served each year

 

  • Increased CO2 in the atmosphere is expected to lower food’s nutritional quality

 

Then raising the point that sustainability: It’s a business necessity Embracing ESG (environmental, social and governance issues) and being able to demonstrate your business’s commitment to sustainability – and, ideally, to being net-zero – are necessities for all businesses. Those who fail to do so, KPMG notes, lose customers, employees and financing.12 In a report, KPMG concludes that “Customers, employees, shareholders, lenders, rating agencies and regulators are demanding companies consider how their business impacts the world, their contribution to society and how they conduct themselves.”

 

Across the report there are lots of challenges to Meat and the promotion of plant based alternatives. The words Plant-Based appear throughout the report, often in larger bold print. Whilst they also try to offer what they believe to be ‘helpful’ tips for foodservice operators such as:

 

  • Make meat an optional extra which customers can add for an additional charge.

 

  • Setting a ‘Carbon Budget’ per dish

 

We point members, especially those in the catering butcher sector to pages 25 and 26 (the report is attached) which covers procurement.

 

And Finally…

 

Help the NHS beat COVID-19 by telling them all your test results – whether they’re positive, negative or void

 

Join the millions of people a week who report all their rapid lateral flow COVID-19 test results, and you’ll play your part in helping us stay ahead of the virus. 

 

How you can help

 

If you report your result every time you take a test, the NHS always gets the latest, most accurate information.

 

This helps them to keep track of where the virus is spreading, provide support where it’s needed and protect local communities across the country. 

 

You could even help stop future lockdowns.

 

How to report your result

 

On the lateral flow test strip, find the QR code, or the ID number under it

 

Click Here and fill in your details

Please ask others in your household or workplace to report their results too.

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

Click Here to return to Members Area

13th January - EXTRA - Animal Health Regulation EHCs from 15 Jan 2022

Click here to go to the Imports/Exports Section of the website

13th January

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Question from an Abattoir Member – Red Diesel 

 

We have been asked by an abattoir operating member whether their premises would be considered to be an agricultural business and therefore would they be able to continue to use Red Diesel for powering their water boiler that is used for sterilizing etc. when the rules change on 1st April 2022?

 

The answer is: NO, they won’t.

 

HMRC published this policy paper: Reform of red diesel and other rebated fuels entitlement Click Here on 29th November 2021 and this was followed in December by How to prepare for the changes to rebated fuel if you’re a fuel user Click Here along with a supporting document; Check when rebated fuel can be used Click Here

 

There is also a very good blog available from law firm Pinsent Masons, who specialise in energy as well as other sectors: UK restrictions on use of ‘red’ diesel from 1 April 2022 Click Here

 

A couple of key extracts from the blog:

 

  • Businesses should prepare for the change by running down stocks of red diesel in storage tanks and considering the cost implications of a move to ‘white’ diesel, and whether these costs can be passed to customers 

 

  • Red diesel which remains in storage tanks after 1 April 2022 must be disposed of or transferred to someone who is still allowed to use it. However, tanks do not need to be flushed out.

 

  • Traces of red diesel are likely to remain in fuel tanks for some time after the changes and HMRC may carry out spot checks. Businesses therefore need to keep evidence that any red diesel was put in before the rules changed and that the vehicle has been refilled with white diesel since 1 April 2022

 

Exporting

 

Find an export finance manager 

 

Export finance managers are regional representatives of UK Export Finance: Click Here

 

Their aim is to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance, while operating at no net cost to the taxpayer.

 

Export Finance are valuable contacts for exporters and businesses with export potential.

 

The list of regional contacts has been updated: Click Here

 

Register road haulage journeys within Europe from 2nd  February 2022 Click Here

 

A new section has been added to the guidance on creating an account on the EU portal to register journeys: Click Here

 

How Jobcentre Plus can help employers Click Here

 

Jobcentre Plus offers an extensive range of services to help you to grow and develop your business.

 

The leaflet ‘Jobcentre Plus – working together with employers’ Click Here is a summary of services Jobcentre Plus offers to employers.

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

Click Here to return to Members Area

12th January

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Food Resilience Information Forum (FRIF) Meeting – 12th January 2022

 

There was a meeting of FRIF this morning which AIMS attended.

 

The key points raised were:

 

  • Guidance has been published on the Information Commissioner’s Office about how to have conversations with your staff about their vaccination status:

• Vaccination and COVID pass checks: Click Here

• Looking after your customers’ personal data when you are required to complete COVID status checks – Advice for organisations: Click Here

 

  • Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the retained EU drivers’ hours rules: all road haulage sectors in Great Britain Click Here

 

New temporary relaxations of drivers' hours take effect from 12:01am today, Wednesday 12th January 2022 until 11:59pm on Thursday 10th February 2022, subject to review.

 

  • Critical Worker Testing

 

If you have been contacted by Defra your test kits should now be either with you or on their way. Some deliveries may be made over the weekend.

 

They assured that test kits are also available via the normal routes of:

 

Their advice is that you and your staff should access these tests via any of the following routes:

 

1. Local pharmacy: To find your local pharmacy with kits: Click Here

 

2. via Gov.UK - Click Here

 

3. From a local community collection site - Click Here

 

4. From a Test Site - Click Here

 

NOTE: We trailed the Gov.UK route placing an order at 11.00 on Saturday 8th January. The Kits arrived at 12 noon Monday 10th January. We do suggest that members encourage their staff to order tests via this route.

 

Avian Influenza

 

Avian influenza (bird flu): cases and disease control zones in England Click Here

 

The document ‘Rules on meat produced from poultry and farmed game birds originating in the Protection Zone’ has been updated: Click Here

 

Haulier advice site locations Click Here

 

The Holyhead haulier advice site will now reopen on Wednesday 19th January 2022.

 

Added 3 new haulier advice sites located in Spain: Click Here

 

Members in Scotland

 

Labour Shortages debate: Cabinet Secretary's statement Click Here

 

Key extract

 

Despite all of the work we are doing to tackle skills and labour shortages, many businesses and employers are still struggling due to the reduction in freedom of movement and the impact on labour mobility and supply, and pandemic-related disruption.

 

The emergence of Omicron has brought further challenges and insecurity for many industries, exacerbating existing staff shortages. While staff shortages and recruitment challenges are being recorded across almost all sectors, this is particularly pronounced in certain industries and sectors.

 

The call, as I said at the outset, is to work across Parliament, and hopefully across government, to try and bring a meaningful resolution to the challenges that businesses face, because as we emerge from COVID, and move into living with COVID, staff shortages will still be an issue that we need to resolve.

 

AIMS will be contacting members in Scotland in relation to this asking that present some of our ideas in relation to labour shortages (Skilled Worker Visas, Reform of the English Language Requirements, Shortage Occupation Lists and aligning standard occupation codes) to the Scottish Government and ask that in turn they support our proposed measures in their conversations with Westminster.

 

Large outdoor events resume from 17th January Click Here

 

Please Note this from the statement:

 

From Monday, (17th January) a person will need to show they have had a booster to be considered ‘fully vaccinated’ if their last vaccine dose was more than four months ago. 

 

The NHS Scotland COVID Status app will be updated from this Thursday and will include booster jags on the QR code for domestic settings.

 

Updated paper and PDF certificates are already available on request from the NHS Inform website or helpline.

 

Members in Scotland may also be interested in this correspondence between the Holyrood Government and the Home Office: Rural visa pilot scheme: letter to Minister for Safe and Legal Migration Click Here

 

Members in Wales

 

Despite being told by the Welsh Government that an announcement was due at the end of last week in relation to workplace testing we are still waiting. In the meantime we have received the following:

 

Access to tests for food and drink business in Wales

 

Welsh Government is contacting any organisations with workers who should be included in this targeted scheme, which is aimed at specific groups of workers in unique roles where we need to make particular arrangements in order to ensure that the country continues to operate safely. 

 

Many of these organisations will already be signed up to our workplace testing scheme, which provides for twice weekly asymptomatic testing in private and public sector workplaces with more than 10 employees who cannot work from home and can be accessed by contacting Covid19.WorkplaceTesting@gov.wales

 

Welsh government are currently working through the UK government proposals on daily testing for critical workers  with indications that they will align proposals with UK government once they have been clarified. FDF Cymru will share any updates when received. 

 

We Suggest: It might be worth your while to contact the Covid 19 Workplace Testing Email and register – better to be in the system than not at least.

 

Check genuine HMRC contact that uses more than one communication method Click Here

 

New sections have been added covering the following:

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus Updates

 

NHS Test and Trace in the workplace Click Here

 

The text  has been updated to reflect confirmatory PCR policy change.

 

The advice for people who have a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test result has changed. They are no longer required to have a follow-up polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and they should stay at home and self-isolate immediately.

 

People who have a positive LFD test result should only have a follow-up PCR test if:

 

  • They wish to claim the Test and Trace Support Payment: Click Here

 

  • they have a health condition that means they may be suitable for new coronavirus (COVID-19) treatments

 

  • they are taking LFD tests as part of research or surveillance programmes, and the programme asks them to do so

 

  • they have a positive day 2 LFD test after arriving in England

 

The same information and guidance has also been added to NHS Test and Trace: what to do if you are contacted Click Here

And Finally….

AIMS Supplier Member, Roythornes Solicitors (www.roythorne.co.uk) have published their latest 1 – 2 – 3 interview this time with Dan Parker, the founder of Veg Power: Click Here

 

Dan Parker has worked in marketing and advertising for 25 years. As Chief Executive and Executive Creative Director of marketing innovation agency Sponge, he pioneered online, mobile and location marketing for the world's largest food, restaurant, grocery, media and technology brands

 

To read the interview: Click Here

 

The AIMS contact at Roythornes is Hannah Leese. Her contact details are as follows:

 

Direct Dial: 0115 9454420

Main: 01775 842500

Mobile: 07395 791118

Email: hannahleese@roythornes.co.uk  

Web: www.roythornes.co.uk

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

Click Here to return to Members Area

12th January - Special - AIMS Live Updates 

Halal Assurance for Catering Butchers

Thursday 20th January 2022 10:30 to 11:30

 

For more information and joining details Click here

Halal Assurance for Abattoirs and Cutting Plants

Thursday 27th January 2022 10:30 to 11:30

 

For more information and joining details Click here 

HCOlogo.jpg

11th January 

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

CO2

 

We attended a meeting with Defra yesterday afternoon in relation to the supply of CO2. The current government support for CF Industries finishes at the end of January and should they decide to discontinue with production then we could see the supply drop by around 25% in what is a competitive market.

 

We firstly advise that if you do use CO2 to ensure that you have filled your tanks and, secondly, please can you let us know what impact a shortage would have on your business?

 

Pig Industry Support Scheme Extended

 

Private Storage Aid (PSA)

 

  • The scheme is now running and will be extended until 2pm Thursday 31st March 2022.

  • You can now place both non-butchers and butchers pork into PSA.

  • The cuts remain as 2 x shoulder, 2 x middle, 2 x legs (6 cuts in total)

  • Bone in Cuts must go to PSA in 15 tonne lots

  • Boneless Cuts must go to PSA in 10 tonne lots

Rate of aid per storage period Bone Out Meat £/tonne

 

Rate of aid per storage period Bone In Meat £/tonne

 

Removal of product from the scheme  

  • Contractual storage will end on the day before that of removal from the scheme or store.

  • If you fail to respect the end of the contractual storage period, the aid for the contract in question will be reduced by 10% for each calendar day of non-compliance.

  • Removal of products from store must be per contract.  

  • You can remove product from the scheme and leave it in store. However, you will then be liable for storage costs from the store owner.

 

If you have any further questions on Private Storage Aid please direct them to:

 

Nicola Coulson 

Trader Operations Manager

Regulation, Grants & Standards Directorate

Rural Payments Agency 

Lancaster House 

Newcastle 

NE4 7YH

 

Tel. 0207 764 3823 | Ext 43823 | 

email nicola.coulson@rpa.gov.uk

 

Pig Slaughter Incentive Payment (SIP) – This is limited to 100,000 pigs. Once that number has been achieved the scheme will close.

 

  • The pig slaughter incentive scheme will re-open on Friday 14th January 2022 and run for 6 weeks to Thursday 31st March 2022

  • The price has been revised and is now set at £10.00 per pig

  • The scheme is only available for dedicated stand-alone shifts outside of normal operating hours (and any operating flex agreements which may be in place)

  • Pigs must be cut into 6 cuts (2 x shoulder 2 x Middle and 2 x Legs) and must either go into Private Storage Aid (PSA) or be exported only.

  • Checks will be undertaken by the RPA to ensure that any pigs claimed for did enter PSA or were exported (using EHC evidence)

  • All kill must be fully staffed with the required OV’s and MHI’s.

  • The FSA will try to accommodate the extra kill time with abattoirs without the need for 30 days-notice of extra kill.

  • FSA / E&J Vets are likely to be supported by APHA Vets for this work.

  • Participating abattoirs will need to register (details to follow) and make one single claim after 1st April 2022.

  • All claims must be received by 29yh April 2022. If you fail to submit your claim in time you will not receive any payment.

  • RPA will pay participating abattoirs within 28 days of receipt of the claim

 

The claim must include the following information:

  • Name of Site

  • License Number

  • Address of Site

  • Contact Name

  • Days and Dates that the extra kill took place on

  • The times of the extra kill

  • The Total Tonnage

    • Of the total tonnage how much has gone to PSA

    • Of the total tonnage how much has gone to Export

 

The full details will be published shortly and we will make sure that they are sent on an AIMS Update

 

If you have any further questions on the Pig Slaughter Incentive Scheme please direct them to:

 

Nicola Coulson 

Trader Operations Manager

Regulation, Grants & Standards Directorate

Rural Payments Agency 

Lancaster House 

Newcastle 

NE4 7YH

 

Tel. 0207 764 3823 | Ext 43823 | 

email nicola.coulson@rpa.gov.uk

 

In short, you can kill pigs under SIP outside of your normal kill hours and either export the pork or place it butchered or non-butchered into PSA. Meat taken out of PSA can then be processed and sold in the normal manner.

 

Coronavirus Update

 

COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test kit instructions: throat and nose test Click Here

 

The 'Step-by-step guide to COVID-19 self-testing for throat and nose test' (English) has been updated: Click Here

 

For Easy Read: Click Here

 

For Large Print: Click Here

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR home test kit instructions Click Here

 

Added translations for:

 

 

New campaign launched urging pregnant women to Get Boosted Now Click Here

 

Pregnant women who have not yet had their first, second, third or booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are being urged to get their jab as soon as possible, as the government launches a new advertising campaign for the New Year.

 

Data from the UK Obstetric Surveillance System shows 96.3% of pregnant women admitted to hospital with COVID-19 symptoms between May and October 2021 were unvaccinated, a third of which (33%) requiring respiratory support. 

 

Around 1 in 5 women who are hospitalised with the virus need to be delivered preterm to help them recover and 1 in 5 of their babies need care in the neonatal unit.

 

Temporary jobcentres Click Here

 

Further temporary jobcentres have opened in the following towns:

  • Aylesbury: 66 High Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1SD

  • Birmingham (King's Norton): Facet Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham, B38 9PT

  • London Cooks Road: 1-4 Cooks Road, London, E15 2PW

  • London Tooting: 71 Tooting High Street, Tooting Broadway, SW17 0SU

 

The address for the temporary jobcentre in Kirkcaldy has been corrected to: 29 The Mercat, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1NU

 

Export Support Service - helping SMEs understand and overcome exporting issues

 

If you’re a UK business selling goods or services to Europe, you can contact the UK government export support team by phone (0300 303 8955) or online: Click Here

You can ask any question for your business, including on: 

  • Exporting to new markets

  • Paperwork you need to sell your goods abroad

  • Rules for a specific country where you want to sell services

 

Alternatively please feel free to contact AIMS and we’ll put you in contact with relevant support from the levy boards.

 

DATE FOR DIARY: AHDB are planning an export conference on 17th March 2022 (Date TBC). More details to follow once we have them.

 

Examples of packaging in and out of scope of Plastic Packaging Tax Click Here

 

The guidance document: Click Here has been updated: - Mop buckets and home storage boxes added to examples of items that are not subject to the tax

 

Check if a text message you've received from HMRC is genuine Click Here

 

HMRC appointment reminders section has been added: Click Here

 

And Finally…X2

 

1. Many of you may have seen the McDonald’s TV advert promoting their McPlant burger. What you may not have seen is that they have also launched a new green flagship store which perhaps demonstrates that they are more pro-British meat than fad diets.

 

The McDonald’s in Market Drayton is the fast food chain’s new green flagship store. It is kitted out with solar panels and wind turbines, while the kerbstones and drive-thru are made from recycled plastic bottles and tyres respectively. Even the art is made from recycled polystyrene cups, fixed in place with potato starch. The walls it hangs on are insulated with wool from British sheep

 

To read the full statement from McDonald’s corporate: Click Here

 

2. Hospitality sales rebound in late December Click Here

 

Consumer footfall across the UK’s hospitality sector increased between Christmas and New Year, according to the latest CGA Drinks Recovery Tracker.

 

New data released by the analyst firm shows that on-trade sales picked up in the week before New Year's Eve, as consumer confidence levels rose and reaching an equilibrium of -13% below 2019 levels. This could be regarded as a positive outcome in light of the trading restrictions, which varied across the UK. In Scotland for example, social distancing rules led to a reduction in the number of covers for hospitality, and mask-wearing was re-introduced for England in public spaces. 

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

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10th January EXTRA - Avian Influenza - "Stop the Spread" Defra Webinars

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Due to the current avian influenza (‘Bird Flu’) outbreak, maintaining effective biosecurity has never been more critical. 

 

Find out what you can do to keep your birds free of the disease, by registering for one of the Defra webinars. 

 

These events will be hosted by leading Defra epidemiologists and veterinary professionals and will cover:

 

  • The latest information on the national situation and the high number of cases in the North Yorkshire, Lincolnshire & Leicestershire areas;

  • Essential biosecurity measures that all keepers of birds and poultry (pets or commercial) should be taking in these higher instance areas and the rest of the country;

  • An opportunity to ask questions about biosecurity best practice; 

 

Additional dates released for bespoke webinars aimed at smallholders/hobby keepers/pet keepers (12pm and 5pm Wednesday 12th January 2022) 

 

And Commercial producers (12pm and 5pm Thursday 13th January 2022).

 

To register and for full details visit: Click Here
 

10th January

 

Coronavirus Update

 

Defra Labour absences daily survey 

 

The aim of this daily survey is to collect up to date, accurate and representative data on the impact of workforce absences across key parts of the UK economy.

The latest data suggests Omicron is extremely transmissible and is quickly becoming the dominant variant. Cases are now doubling every 2 to 3 days, the Government therefore urgently need real-time data. 

 

To complete the survey: Click Here

 

Please complete this survey daily, or as often as you are able. 

 

To make this easier the survey has been kept very short and should take no more than 3 minutes to complete.

AIMS Members contributions to this survey are highly valued and will directly inform senior government Officials and Ministers. Due to the sensitivity of this data, we will not be sharing the raw data outside of central government, or where relevant the Devolved Administrations.

 

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) Click Here

 

The Information box has been updated to include changes from  Tuesday 11th January: People in England who receive a positive lateral flow test will be required to self-isolate immediately but won’t need to take a confirmatory PCR test.

 

 

  • For Shops, branches and contact services: Click Here

 

  • For Restaurants, Pubs, Bars and Takeaway services: Click Here

What your NHS COVID Pass letter tells you Click Here

 

Added translated versions of 'What your NHS COVID Pass letter for domestic use tells you'. 

 

Each link also takes you a separate page:'What your NHS COVID Pass letter for travel tells you'.

English: Click Here

Arabic: Click Here

Bulgarian: Click Here

Bengali: Click Here

French: Click Here

Gujarati: Click Here

Hindi: Click Here

Italian: Click Here

Lithuanian: Click Here

Nepalese: Click Here

Punjabi: Click Here

Polish: Click Here

Portuguese: Click Here

Romanian: Click Here

Spanish: Click Here

Urdu: Click Here

Simplified Chinese: Click Here

Traditional Chinese: Click Here

Avian Influenza

 

Avian influenza (bird flu): cases and disease control zones in England Click Here

 

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was suspected in commercial poultry at a premises near Louth, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire. A 3km and 10km Temporary Control Zone has been put in place around the premises.

 

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in birds at a non-commercial premises near Upholland, West Lancashire, Lancashire. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around the premises.

Members in Scotland

 

Vaccination vital as Omicron remains a threat Click Here

 

Anyone who has not yet received their booster or third dose is being urged to come forward now, to give the best possible protection against the Omicron variant.

 

For further information and to book your vaccine visit the NHS Inform website: Click Here

Members in Wales

 

Written Statement: Emergency Covid Financial Support Including Newly Established Businesses Click Here

 

The funding will provide a potential lifeline to those who have recently established their business and help them to continue trading through the period 13 December 2021 to 14 February 2022 despite being impacted by the spread of Omicron.

 

To be eligible businesses must have been trading on or before the 1st September 2021.  

 

An eligibility checker for the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) element of the funding is available on the Business Wales website. 

 

The checker can be found at COVID-19 Crisis Support Tool: Click Here

 

The registration process for the non-domestic rates linked grants delivered by local authorities will open on the Thursday 13th January 2022 and the application process for the local authority delivered discretionary funding, along with the Economic Resilience Fund opening the following week. 

 

Payments will start within days of opening.

National Cyber Security Centre Threat Report – 7th January 2022 Click Here

 

The NCSC has published guidance aimed at individuals affected by data breaches, advising that they should also stay alert to phishing scams that may try to take advantage of personal or sensitive information to make their messages seem more convincing: Click Here

 

NOTE: Check if a letter you've received from HMRC is genuine Click Here

 

Research with businesses on VAT submissions section has been added: Click Here

HR Update

 

ACAS have published new guidance for employers on Changing an employment contract Click Here

 

It is in two sections: 

 

  • Making changes to employment contracts – employer responsibilities Click Here

 

  • Making changes to your employment contract – advice for employees Click Here

Abattoir Operator Members – Your right to view your Chronos Report

 

As previously flagged to members, Chronos is the system FSA use to log all enforcement activity for your plant. Many of you have asked your OVs for copies of your Chronos report, and on the whole, OVs have supplied it. FSA themselves agree that it should always be available to FBOs.

 

It is AIMS’ view that abattoir operators should be allowed to log onto Chronos at any time in order that they can see what information has been entered onto the system about their business. This would help members to make more informed business decisions and ensure that corrective actions are quickly addressed. It can also highlight items that the OV hasn’t necessarily informed you about. 

 

We have been in correspondence with the FSA to this effect however, they tell us that they unable to allow access by specific FBO plants to the information and that it isn’t possible for FBO’s to have their own unique log on.

 

Chronos is used as evidence in enforcement action and also feeds directly into your FSA Audit.

 

We therefore advise all AIMS Abattoir operators to ensure that they take a copy of the MHI’s / OV’s day book every day for your records and also ask for a Chronos print out for every kill day. 

 

NOTE: Taken from pages 15 to 18 Manual of Official Controls: Click Here

 

The Manual of Controls states: -  3.3.2 Daybook access All FSA operational staff must have ready access to the daybook. The OV should inform the FBO that they are entitled to read and make entries in the daybook and reasonable access should be provided.

 

Note: Contemporaneous notes should be recorded in your personal official notebook where access to the daybook is not readily available. These notes need not be transcribed into the daybook although a reference to their existence should be made.

 

Should you be refused access to your site’s information or denied the opportunity to photocopy the day book please let us know in order that we can take this up with the FSA

Haulier advice site locations Click Here

 

Members using the port at Holyhead should note that the haulier advice site is closed until Monday 17th January 2022

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

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7th January

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Coronavirus Update

 

Businesses most impacted by Omicron variant to benefit from over £700 million as government delivers funding to local authorities Click Here

 

Businesses in England most impacted by the Omicron variant will be able to tap into a multimillion-pound support package in the coming weeks, as the government today (7 January) delivered funding to councils across the country.

 

Firms in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors, many of which have seen a decline in footfall and increased cancellations due to the Omicron variant, will be able to apply for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises depending on rateable value

 

In addition, more than £100 million worth of discretionary funding is also being made available for local authorities to support other businesses.

 

We advise members who believe that their businesses have been adversely impacted by Omicron to contact their local authority ASAP as this fund is likely to have lots of applications. If you would like any assistance please contact us.

 

Foreign travel advice: Ireland Click Here

 

Changes have been announced to pre-departure testing requirements for travellers to Ireland. These are:

 

From midnight on Thursday 6th January 2022 travellers who are not fully vaccinated or have a proof of recovering certificate and are travelling to Ireland, , have to show a negative RT-PCR test. This includes travellers from Great Britain, but not those whose journey originates in Northern Ireland

 

Members in Wales

 

Working with colleagues at FDF Wales and the Welsh Government we will be sending out details of how members in Wales can apply for free lateral flow device (LFD) test kits. Details are being finalised and we will either have this information later today (we will send out an update special) or at the start of next week.

 

People asked to keep Wales safe as alert level 2 measures stay in place Click Here

 

The First Minister has confirmed alert level 2 measures will stay in place in Wales following the outcome of the latest regulations review.

 

At alert level 2 people must:

  • Wear a face covering (unless there is a reasonable excuse not to wear one) in all indoor public places, including when not seated in a pub, café or restaurant.
     

  • Meet no more than five other people at a café, restaurant, pub or other public premises (unless with their household of a larger number). This applies to both outdoor and indoor areas of the premises.
     

  • Work from home if they can.
     

  • Self-isolate for seven days if they test positive for COVID-19. People should take a lateral flow test on day six and day seven. If either test is positive they should remain in isolation until two negative lateral flow tests or after day 10, whichever is sooner.
     

  • Not take part in an organised event indoors of more than 30 people or outdoors for more than 50 people. All organised events must be organised by a responsible body and have a risk assessment.

 

People are also being encouraged to follow strengthened guidance to help them stay safe at home, this includes limiting the number of people they meet who they don’t live with, to flow before you go by taking a lateral flow test before going out, meeting people outdoors wherever possible and making sure indoor spaces are well ventilated.

 

AHDB New year Beef & Lamb news round up Click Here

 

Out now the January round up includes details of the forthcoming ‘Targeting your Marketplace’ roadshows and infographics showing what producers and processors get for their levy

 

NSA Breakfast Club Webinar - Who will eat UK Sheep meat in 2022? A review of work abroad to promote your product

 

This event is open to AIMS members regardless of whether you are a member of the NSA or not.

 

Join the first NSA Breakfast Club webinar of 2022 for an insight into what global markets for sheepmeat will look like this year. NSA will be joined by Dr Phil Hadley (AHDB International Market Development Director) and David Swales (AHDB Head of Strategic Insight) to give an overview of work being done to promote your product abroad, as well as predicted trends and opportunities in 2022. 

 

Wednesday 12th January 2021 08.30 to 09.30

 

To register for your free place: Click Here

 

This NSA Breakfast Club webinar is kindly sponsored by AIMS Supplier members, Roythornes Solicitors: 

 

The AIMS contact at Roythornes is Hannah Leese. Her contact details are as follows:

 

Direct Dial: 0115 9454420

Main: 01775 842500

Mobile: 07395 791118

Email: hannahleese@roythornes.co.uk  

Web: www.roythornes.co.uk

AIMS Friday Insights

 

AIMS Friday Insight is a quick look at some of the market research, market reports and general updates from across the world of retail and foodservice which you may not have caught up on in the last 7 days.

 

Campden BRI provide us with our first insight looking at the 5 food packaging trends during 2021 Click Here

 

The IGD report looking at Online: three trends to watch in 2022 Click Here includes a great piece on ‘Content is King’: Today, retailers can rely on algorithms to be more competitive on price and choice. They can partner to provide quicker more convenient deliveries. To stand out, drive frequency, loyalty and sales, online content is key. In 2022, we’ll see more retailers offering entertainment, live streaming, and enhanced product content.

 

And whilst we consider online’s growth it is a Happy 15th Birthday on 9th January to the Apple iPhone: When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone on January 9, 2007, even the keenest optimists, that includes Jobs, could not have predicted the impact it would have on the world. 15 years later, Apple is the world's first $3 trillion company and smartphones have become a constant presence in many people's lives, often to an unhealthy degree. To read the article: Click Here

 

And finally two articles from The Food People.

 

First up optimism reigns in the foodservice market as they look at several New Opening Highlights in December from across the globe: Click Here

 

And their blog on Social Media giant TikTok: TikTok Enters Restaurant Space With New Delivery Service Click Here. At present TikTok Kitchen is just in the USA however no doubt it will enter other mature home delivery markets such as here in the UK shortly.

 

And, if you find that interesting, there are a whole number of articles on the web on TikTok entering the food to go market. 

 

We found this one from The Verge TikTok Kitchens will bring viral culinary creations to fans Click Here of most interest.

 

NEXT WEEK: We will be covering just a single topic, the publication of the Nestle / Footprint report Empowering Sustainability Heroes

 

And Finally…

 

Was it fair to dismiss an employee who raised numerous grievances?

 

Partner at AIMS Supplier Member Collingwood Legal, (www.collingwoodlegal.com) Associate Solicitor, Charlotte McBride, has written a case update on this recent, interesting Employment Appeal Tribunal decision

 

To read the full article: Click Here

 

The AIMS lead at Collingwood Legal is Jane Sinnamon

Direct Dial: 0191 282 2884
Mobile: 07788586707
jane.sinnamon@collingwoodlegal.com

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

Click Here to return to Members Area

6th January

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Coronavirus Update

 

PM statement to the House of Commons on COVID-19: 5th January 2022 Click Here

 

So in response to the latest data, the Cabinet agreed this morning that we should stick with Plan B for another three weeks, with a further review before the regulations expire on Wednesday 26th January.

 

People in England should carry on working from home whenever they can, wear face coverings on public transport and in most indoor public places, and take a test before going to high risk venues or meeting the elderly or vulnerable.

 

From Monday 10th January, we will provide 100,000 critical workers in England with free lateral flow tests for every working day to help keep essential services running.

 

This includes those who work on critical national infrastructure, national security, transport, and food distribution and processing. 

 

If you have NOT been contacted by Defra by the end of today then your business will NOT have been identified as on with Critical workers on site. That is not to say that your staff are not Critical and if you believe that you will need access to kits in order to keep your plant operational and prevent animal welfare issues, or if your products are destined for key public sector food provision such as the NHS, Care Homes, Schools etc then you should be able to be added to Defra’s list. They will consider each request on a case by case basis. 

 

Details of members who contacted us yesterday expressing a need for kits have already been flagged with Defra

 

If you are not included you should still be encouraging your staff to take tests at home. 

 

They should access these tests via any of the following routes:

 

  • Local pharmacy: To find your local pharmacy with kits: Click Here

 

  • From a local community collection site - Click Here

 

 

Confirmatory PCR tests to be temporarily suspended for positive lateral flow test results Click Here

 

From Tuesday 11th January in England, people who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

 

This is a temporary measure while COVID-19 rates remain high across the UK. Whilst levels of COVID-19 are high, the vast majority of people with positive LFD results can be confident that they have COVID-19.

 

Lateral flow tests are taken by people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who develops 1 of the 3 main COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate and take a PCR test. 

 

They must self-isolate if they get a positive test result, even if they have had a recent negative lateral flow test – these rules have not changed.

 

NOTE: From today, Thursday 6th January in Scotland, if your lateral flow test is positive, and you do not have symptoms, you will no longer be required to take a PCR test to confirm the result.

 

NOTE: From today, Thursday 6th January in Wales if a person showing no symptoms has a positive lateral flow test they will no longer be advised to have a follow-up PCR test to confirm the result, unless they are in a clinically vulnerable group, which may need early access to treatment or have been advised to do so as part of a research or surveillance programme. (For further information see the link in the Members in Wales section below)

 

Pre-departure testing removed for vaccinated travellers Click Here

 

From 4am on Sunday 9th January, eligible fully vaccinated travellers and over 5s will be able to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR on or before day 2 of their arrival in England. 

 

Lateral flow tests for travel can be booked from Friday 7th January and taken upon arrival, by the end of day 2.

 

Eligible fully vaccinated passengers and under 18s will no longer need to take a pre-departure test or self-isolate on arrival in England from 4am on Friday 7th January but must continue to take their post-arrival tests.

 

How to do a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test Click Here

 

The video links have been updated to reflect changes to confirmatory PCR rules: Click Here

 

Members in Wales

 

Written Statement: Prioritising PCR Testing Click Here

 

People who are un-vaccinated contacts of positive cases and are self-isolating for 10 days should now take a lateral flow test on day two and day eight instead of a PCR test. This will help to increase PCR testing capacity.  This change will come into effect immediately.

 

Animal health and welfare plan key to Wales’ future – Rural Affairs Minister Click Here

 

The 2022-24 Implementation Plan is published in the face of the combined challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, leaving the European Union as well as the climate crisis and comes as a significant series of avian influenza cases are experienced across the UK.

 

The ambition to ensure the very highest standards in Wales is captured in the plan’s headline aspirations “One Health, One Welfare and Biosecurity”, which embraces all aspects of animal health and welfare as well as the complex interactions with human health and well-being, and the environment.

 

To read the Animal health and welfare framework: implementation plan 2022 to 2024 Report: Click Here

 

We draw member’s attention to page 43; “Farmed Animals CCTV in Slaughterhouses”

 

Members in Scotland

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister's statement – 5th January 2022 Click Here

 

There are no easy answers here, but adapting to the ongoing challenge of COVID is inescapable. The Scottish Government is therefore currently working on and will publish over the next few weeks a revised strategic framework, which will set out more fully how that process of adaptation can be managed with a view to building that greater resilience.

 

We will seek views from across Parliament as we develop this new framework in more detail. However, the changes I am about to confirm to the requirements on self-isolation and testing are an early indication of an already adapting response.

 

As a result of this consideration, we are now proposing two changes to the self-isolation rules, and one change to the requirement for PCR testing. And all of these changes will take effect from midnight tonight (Wednesday 5th January)

 

The first change to self-isolation applies to those who test positive for COVID.

 

While the initial advice when someone tests positive will still be to self-isolate for 10 days, there will now be an option to end isolation after seven days as long as you, firstly, have no fever and, secondly, you record two negative lateral flow tests, one no earlier than day six after testing positive and another at least 24 hours after that.

 

The second change applies to close contacts of positive cases – and this includes household contacts - who are either under the age of 18 years, four months, or who are older than that and fully vaccinated.

 

Let me be clear, by fully vaccinated, we mean first, second and booster or third doses.

 

For close contacts in these categories the requirement to self-isolate will end and be replaced by a requirement to take a lateral flow test every day for seven days. Obviously, if one of these tests is positive, self-isolation will then be required.

 

For those who have symptoms of COVID, the advice remains to book a PCR test, even if you have a positive lateral flow test.

 

And of course the advice to everyone is to test regularly with lateral flow devices, especially before meeting up with others.

 

However, from today, Thursday 6th January, if your lateral flow test is positive, and you do not have symptoms, you will no longer be required to take a PCR test to confirm the result.

 

Instead, you must immediately isolate and also report your result online so that Test & Protect can commence the contact tracing process and give you advice as quickly as possible. You will also receive an online form that you must fill in, as would happen with a PCR positive in to ensure your contacts are notified.

 

Avian Influenza

 

Avian influenza (bird flu): cases and disease control zones in England Click Here

 

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was suspected on 5 January 2022 in poultry at a premises near North Somercotes, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire. Following official testing, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed on this premises on 5 January 2022. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around the premises

 

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

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5th January

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Coronavirus Update

 

Prime Minister reissues call for public to get boosted and announces new critical workforce testing measures Click Here

 

In his statement the Prime Minister also acknowledged the disruption to the workforce caused by the spread of Omicron and set out further measures the government is taking to address this.

 

He announced the Government will provide 100,000 critical workers in England with free lateral flow tests to help keep essential services and supply chains running.

 

Critical workers will be able to take a test on every working day and the provision of precautionary testing will be for an initial five weeks.

 

This will help to isolate asymptomatic cases and limit the risk of outbreaks in workplaces, reducing transmission while covid cases remain high.

 

These critical workers are those who work in essential services, cannot work from home and are at risk of infecting each other - for example, due to working together in an enclosed space. 

 

People covered by the scheme will include those who work in critical national infrastructure, national security, transport, and food distribution and processing. This includes vital roles in Border Force, Police and Fire and Rescue Services control rooms, electricity generation, test kit warehouses and test surge labs.

 

The full range of critical workers have been identified by the relevant departments and Government will contact these organisations directly on the logistics of the scheme this week. 

 

Roll out will start from Monday 10th January.

 

Tests will be separate from public sectors who already have a testing allocation with UKHSA, such as adult social care or education, and separate to those delivered to pharmacies and homes, so those channels will not be impacted by the new scheme.

 

Using your NHS COVID Pass for travel abroad and at venues and settings in England Click Here

 

Updated the section on how to use the NHS COVID Pass when travelling abroad Click Here to reflect that proof of prior infection cannot be used as evidence of your COVID-19 status when entering England.

 

You can show the vaccination records in your NHS COVID Pass as proof of your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad.

 

Proof of prior infection is also shown – however, this cannot be used as evidence of your COVID-19 status when entering England.

 

You will also need to follow additional rules when travelling abroad.

 

Food Resilience Information Forum (FRIF)

 

Businesses which will be included in the 100,000 food industry critical workers will be those in logistics to the supermarkets and abattoir workers. This is a tailored scheme and is to be limited to these ‘critical’ parts of the supply chain.

 

A full list will be circulated to FRIF Members today and we will send this onto AIMS members. If you believe that you should be included on the list please contact tony.goodger@aims2001.co.uk giving details of why you should be included (such as supplying NHS, Care Homes, Schools etc) and the number of people you’d like included.

 

The role out will commence from Monday 10th January 2022.

 

Access to testing via Pharmacies, home testing and NHS testing remains in place so do please encourage your staff to access tests routes.

 

If you have packs of 7 LFD tests, these can be given to staff to take home to use. If you have packs of 25 LFD tests, these should not be given to staff to take home and the testing must take place at work premises. UKHSA are looking at this restriction on the 25’s and we will update members should they be permitted to be released for use at home.

 

KEY MESSAGE: Please encourage your staff to be vaccinated and to get a booster jab as soon as possible.

 

Food Industry Absenteeism is increasing and is around 10%. The critical point is at 20%+ Please let us know if you have 20%+ absences.

 

The meeting then heard from the devolved nations:

 

  • Scotland – Announcement due from the First Minister later today – we will carry this on tomorrow’s update. It is believed that there will be changes to self-isolation and testing.

 

  • Wales – Self-isolation has been reduced from 10 to 7 days

 

  • Northern Ireland – Self-isolation has been reduced from 10 to 7 days, provided that you have a negative test on day 6 and day 7.

 

We Eat Balanced is now live

 

The new We Eat Balanced campaign is now LIVE. 

 

The TV advert will be shown during popular shows such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale, along with more foodie focused shows such as Sunday Brunch.

 

AHDB Marketing have various social assets available for you to also share online and the TV advert Click here

The easiest way for you to support the campaign, is to ensure you’re following our channels, and to like and share their posts or to create your own in support of the campaign.

 

Twitter: @TheAHDB

Facebook: AHDB

Instagram: @WeEatBalanced

Facebook: We Eat Balanced

 

The campaign also featured in the Daily Telegraph over the weekend, with an informative piece about what the campaign hopes to achieve and how it’s giving farmers a voice.

 

If you have any specific requests, please don’t hesitate to contact Jane.Charlesworth@ahdb.org.uk or Emma.Barrett@ahdb.org.uk who will be able to assist. 

 

Please also visit the We Eat Balanced Website: Click Here

 

Get help with the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme Click Here

 

HMRC have reported receiving a very high number of calls in relation to the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and are asking wherever possible that members refer to the online information on Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19) Click Here in the first instance.

 

REMEMBER: This scheme will be reintroduced from mid-January 2022. Further guidance will be available as soon as possible from HMRC and will be carried on an AIMS update.

 

Complaint to ASA

 

Attached is a picture taken at a branch of Sainsbury’s in York over the weekend. As a result of seeing this we have made a complaint to City of York Trading Standards and also to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

 

Our concern is primarily for our members in the poultry sector and what we see as an unfair challenge to chicken.

 

Our complaint reads as follows:

The Advert is for The Vegetarian Butcher's What the Cluck product. The advert states "DON'T BE CHICKEN TRY OUR TASTY MEAT".

The wording, "TRY OUR TASTY MEAT" is in a larger font size than the line "DON'T BE CHICKEN".

The advert then finishes with the logo of the Charity Veganuary. Our complaint is based on two points: The first is that the definition of Meat is "animal flesh that is eaten as food".

Clearly this product is making a claim on the advert as being meat and yet the product isn't made from animal flesh.

The second is our view is that the use of the Veganuary logo may lead the consumer to consider that the product is suitable for someone following a Vegan diet. However, a check on the product's ingredients panel states that it 'may contain eggs'. Not only are eggs not suitable for vegans to consume but they are also one of the 14 allergens as stated by the FSA.

Therefore not only may a consumer who wishes to follow a vegan diet be misled into making a purchase but someone with an allergy to eggs.

The Guidance from the Food Standards Agency in relation to the term 'may contain' (https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/food-allergy-and-intolerance) says: "There is no specific legal requirement to label food with ‘may contain’.

However, food must be safe to eat and information to help people with allergies make safe choices, and manage their condition effectively, must be provided."

It is our view that the use of the Veganuary logo may encourage someone with an egg allergy to purchase the product in the mistaken belief that it will be free from possible cross contamination with eggs.

 

We will keep members informed as to the outcome

 

Cold weather alert issued by UKHSA Click Here

 

With cold weather becoming established across all regions of England this week, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is encouraging people to stay warm and look out for those most at risk from the effects of cold weather.

 

The Met Office is warning that each of the nine regions of England will experience cold weather from midnight on Tuesday 4th January to midday on Thursday 6th January.

Avian Influenza

Avian influenza (bird flu): cases and disease control zones in England Click Here

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has been confirmed in birds at a premises near Lazonby, Eden, Cumbria. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around the premises.

 

Following successful completion of disease control activities and surveillance at a premises near Silecroft, Copeland, Cumbria, the 3km Protection Zone has ended and the 10km Surveillance Zone declared on 21st  November 2021 has been revoked.

 

Updated rules on meat produced from poultry and farmed game birds originating in the Protection Zone.

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

Click Here to return to Members Area

4th January

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

 

Coronavirus Update

 

Parliament returns today and with the current Plan B Click Here measures due to expire on Wednesday 26th January, they are expected to be reviewed today. All of the indications are that Plan B in England will remain in place. This is evidenced by interviews given by the PM yesterday such as: Covid: England must stick with Plan B to protect NHS – PM Click Here

 

We will of course keep members updated with any changes. 

 

REMINDER: Please can you let us know if you are experiencing absenteeism in excess of 25%. This is particularly important if you are a supplier to the public sector and may, as a result of staff absences, may face disruption to deliveries. 

Avian influenza (bird flu): cases and disease control zones in England Click Here

 

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed on 3 January 2022 in birds at a tenth premises near Alford, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around the premises.

 

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in captive birds at a premises near Eton, Windsor & Maidenhead, Berkshire. A 3km Captive Bird (Monitoring) Controlled Zone has been put in place around the premises.

Cold weather alert issued by UKHSA Click Here

 

With a risk of severe cold weather, icy conditions and heavy snow across parts of the country, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is encouraging people to stay warm and look out for those most at risk from the effects of cold weather.

 

The Met Office is warning that the North East of England, North West of England and Yorkshire and Humber regions will experience cold weather from midnight on Tuesday 4th January to midday on Thursday 6th January.

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

Click Here to return to Members Area

3rd January

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Government takes action to mitigate workforce disruption Click Here

 

The Prime Minister has tasked ministers to work closely with their respective sectors to test preparations and contingency planning so that disruption caused by increased COVID-19 infection is minimised in public services and supply chains.

 

Should disruption occur the government stands ready to make sure that any necessary burdens to businesses are cut. There is work ongoing to identify potential regulatory, policy or operational changes which could minimise or alleviate potential disruption.

 

NOTE: AIMS are members of Defra’s Food Resilience Industry Forum (FRIF) and we have been asked to report to them details of any member who is experiencing 20%+ Staff Absences. 

 

It is essential that members who supply the public sector with food inform us if they are likely to experience disruption to deliveries as a result of staff absences. 

 

Avian influenza (bird flu): cases and disease control zones in England Click Here

 

  • The 3km Protection Zones declared around premises near Leeming Bar, Hambleton, North Yorkshire and second premises near Leeming Bar, Hambleton, North Yorkshire have ended and the areas that formed the Protection Zone now form part of the Surveillance Zone.

 

  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in non-commercial birds at premises near Mablethorpe, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire and near Louth, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around each of the premises.

 

  • Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in a non-commercial flock of birds at a premises near Romsey, Test Valley, Hampshire. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around the premises.

 

Check if you're eligible for the coronavirus Additional Restrictions Grant Click Here

 

Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants. However, we expect the funding to help businesses that are severely impacted by the restrictions and the rise of the Omicron variant.

 

Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply.

 

We are happy to assist members with claims through drafting letters for local authorities and councillors to help you state your case. Please contact tony.goodger@aims2001.co.uk if you would like help.

 

Check if you're eligible for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant Click Here

 

The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant provides local councils with one-off grant funding to support to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses, in recognition that the rise of the Omicron variant means that some businesses are likely to struggle.

 

The aim of the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme is to support businesses:

 

  • That offer in-person services

  • Where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises

  • In the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors

 

Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply.

 

We are happy to assist members with claims through drafting letters for local authorities and councillors to help you state your case. Please contact tony.goodger@aims2001.co.uk if you would like help.

 

Get a coronavirus (COVID-19) test if you’re an HGV or van driver Click Here

 

PCR testing at Doncaster North services has now stopped due to changes to entry requirements into Germany

 

Following our update last week on the new requirements for PCR tests on entry to Germany, we can now update that from 23:01 GMT on Monday 3rd January Germany will no longer class the UK, Isle of Man, Channel Islands and British Overseas Territories as virus variant areas. 

 

This will mean a return to the status quo before the UK was designated a virus variant area on 23:01 GMT on 19 December, so hauliers will no longer be required to seek a PCR test either before or just after arrival after this date. 

 

Leaflets for hauliers about new rules for moving goods between the EU and Great Britain Click Here

 

'Moving goods from the EU to Great Britain' leaflet has now been published: Click Here

 

The information is also available in the following languages, though this is not in leaflet format.

 

 

Members in Wales

 

Eligibility checker for £120 million Omicron business support package goes live Click Here

 

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething previously said £120 million would be available for retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism business and their supply chains affected by the move to alert level 2 announced by the First Minister on Wednesday 22 December.

 

The support package includes funding from the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF), with an eligibility checker for this fund now live on the Business Wales website.

 

Eligible businesses can apply for grants of between £2,500 to £25,000, with grants dependent on their size and number of employees.

 

The ERF eligibility checker can be found at: COVID-19 Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) Business Support – December 2021 – February 2022 Eligibility Checker: Click Here

 

Abattoir Operator Members – Your right to view your Chronos Report

 

As previously flagged to members, Chronos is the system FSA use to log all enforcement activity for your plant. Many of you have asked your OVs for copies of your Chronos report, and on the whole, OVs have supplied it. FSA themselves agree that it should always be available to FBOs.

 

It is AIMS’ view that abattoir operators should be allowed to log onto Chronos at any time in order that they can see what information has been entered onto the system about their business. This would help members to make more informed business decisions and ensure that corrective actions are quickly addressed. It can also highlight items that the OV hasn’t necessarily informed you about. 

 

We have been in correspondence with the FSA to this effect however, they tell us that they unable to allow access by specific FBO plants to the information and that it isn’t possible for FBO’s to have their own unique log on.

 

Chronos is used as evidence in enforcement action and also feeds directly into your FSA Audit.

 

We therefore advise all AIMS Abattoir operators to ensure that they take a copy of the MHI’s / OV’s day book every day for your records and also ask for a Chronos print out for every kill day. 

 

NOTE: Taken from pages 15 to 18 Manual of Official Controls: Click Here

 

The Manual of Controls states: -  3.3.2 Daybook access All FSA operational staff must have ready access to the daybook. The OV should inform the FBO that they are entitled to read and make entries in the daybook and reasonable access should be provided.

 

Note: Contemporaneous notes should be recorded in your personal official notebook where access to the daybook is not readily available. These notes need not be transcribed into the daybook although a reference to their existence should be made.

 

Should you be refused access to your site’s information or denied the opportunity to photocopy the day book please let us know in order that we can take this up with the FSA

 

Completing your Plastic Packaging Tax return Click Here

 

Links have been added to additional guidance on:

 

Types of packaging:  Information throughout the document

 

Recycled packaging: Click Here

 

Claiming a credit: Click Here

 

NOTE: We will be running a webinar on the Plastic Packaging Tax at some point in either January or February. Details to follow.

 

And Finally…

 

The AIMS 2022 In-Tray

 

  1. Work with the FSA on clearer guidance in respect to Aged Beef

  2. Work with Defra and the Home Office on the Skilled Worker and Seasonal Worker Visas and with the Migration Advisory Committee on the standard job classicisation codes to have Meat Processors classed within the same code as butchers and abattoir workers.

  3. Work with Defra and AHDB on helping SME members from both the meat and poultry sectors into the export market

  4. Work with Defra on ensuring a viable future for small abattoirs

  5. Work with the FSA on the charging system and the clear reforms that are needed

 

Please feel free to contact us with any pressing issue that you may be facing and which you believe that we may be able to assist you with.

NOTE: There was no National Cyber Security Centre Threat Report published on Friday 31st December

 

NOTE: There will be no Market Update Report today as we don’t have any new figures. We will next publish Monday 10th January.

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

Click Here to return to Members Area

1st January

Register for the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) before full customs controls are introduced

 

AIMS has received the following correspondence from Trader Readiness Team, EU-GB Imports Delivery, Biosecurity, Borders and Trade Programme at The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Click Here to read the report in full in the Imports/Exports area. 

31st December

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

COVID-19 business grant funding schemes: guidance for local authorities Click Here ENGLAND ONLY

 

Please remember that this is guidance for Local Authorities. However, members may wish to use the information to support claims that they make.

 

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Click Here

 

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides additional funding for local authorities subject to national lockdown or Tier 3 restrictions, to support businesses that have had their trade affected by the restrictions. This includes:

 

  • Closed businesses that don’t pay business rates

 

  • Businesses that have not been required to close, but are still severely impacted

 

Each local authority has the discretion to establish business grant schemes or other business support as best fits their area.

 

The guidance document: Click Here states on page 6, point 28, the following

 

Local Authorities are encouraged to support businesses from all sectors that may have been severely impacted by restrictions, or by the Omicron variant, including those outside of the business rates system. 

 

These may include, but are not limited to: hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, the travel and tourism sector, including group travel, travel agents and tour operators, coach operators, wedding industries, nightclubs, theatres, events industries, wholesalers, English language schools, breweries, freelance and mobile businesses (including caterers, events, hair, beauty and wedding related businesses), gyms, and other businesses that may have not received other grant funding. There is no restriction on the number of grants a business may receive, subject to subsidy limits.

 

We advise members whose businesses have been impacted such as catering butchers and suppliers to catering butchers / foodservice to make the case to their local authority (we have found that doing this via your local councillor is a good route) that your business has been impacted as a result of the slow down of sales to hospitality due to either cancelled orders or a drop in anticipated orders. It is key that you provide evidence of sales that you have made during December and over the New Year in previous years to show impact along with details of having to keep the business open and functioning at a time when capacity has been reduced.

 

We are happy to help you draft letters for your local councillors and, if necessary, your MP to get their support. Please email tony.goodger@aims2001.co.uk for more details.

 

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant Click Here

 

This scheme provides support to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses, in recognition that the rise of the Omicron variant means that some businesses are likely to struggle over the coming weeks. This support will take the form of a one-off grant funding scheme. The funding will be made available in Financial Year 2021-2022 and can be used only in Financial Year 2021-2022. The scheme is administered by business rate billing authorities in England.

 

Please Remember: There are also business support schemes opening in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and we are also happy to help members in these countries. None of these schemes are currently open. As soon as they go live, we will update members.

 

COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection Click Here

 

Updated the ending isolation infographic:

311221.png

Clarified that self-isolation advice applies to children and young people: This guidance also applies to children and young people who usually attend an education or childcare setting.

REMINDER: Get a Goods Movement Reference (GMR).

 

Haulage companies will need to use GVMS to create a GMR for loads with multiple customs declarations. A GMR is a single reference number linking multiple pre-lodged declaration references together.

 

Any movements into GB from the EU, or to the EU from GB, started after 11.59pm GMT on 31 December 2021 must have a GMR. Without one, drivers will not be able to board the ferry or shuttle and they will be delayed or turned away at the port. To help you prepare early, you can create a GMR from 29 December 2021 for goods you will be importing or exporting.

 

The person transporting or in possession of the vehicle or trailer (usually the driver) has a legal obligation to carry evidence that a pre-lodged customs declaration is in place for all the goods they’re moving. This is met by carrying a GMR – remember only one GMR per vehicle can be created. 

 

The full HMRC information document is attached.

 

We Eat Balanced Click Here

 

The AHDB consumer marketing campaign We Eat Balanced will be returning on Tuesday 4th January 2022 with a new TV advert, designed to present the facts and bust the myths around food and farming from the UK. 

 

The campaign will be live throughout January and February, and consumers will see it on terrestrial and digital TV, while watching video on demand, on social media and in major supermarkets. 

 

A revamped website acts as the ‘hub’ of the campaign Click Here presenting evidence-based facts to the public. 

 

Liam Byrne, Interim Marketing Director at AHDB said: “January is a key time of year for our We Eat Balanced campaign to run as there is a greater emphasis on the ‘reduce meat and dairy’ message to consumers from brands, TV shows and the media in general. Through the campaign, we are giving farmers a platform and a voice to present the facts about food and farming from the UK, and sharing across industry to make sure we are all using evidence-based information consistently.” 

 

We will circulate more information as soon as the campaign goes live

 

Workers and Temporary Workers: sponsor a Skilled Worker Click Here

 

The guidance Click Here for employers on how to sponsor a worker on the Skilled Worker immigration route has been updated to correct various hyperlinks

 

Check if you need to register for Plastic Packaging Tax Click Here

 

A link to guidance on how to carry out due diligence has been added: Click Here

 

AIMS Friday Insights

 

This week’s AIMS Friday Insight looks at the Chinese Retail Brand 7Fresh which is owned by JD.Com and some of its recent announcements

 

7Fresh: JD's High-Tech Supermarket

 

Have a look at the newest high-tech retail model that JD has introduced for 7Fresh supermarkets: the AI shopping cart follows your every step through the store. Facial recognition technology allows customers to simply scan their face to complete the transaction. The groceries are then delivered on an automated conveyor belt.

 

To watch the 3 minute video: Click Here

 

JD Fresh Partners with World’s Largest Meat Supplier JBS 

 

JBS, the world’s largest meat supplier, partnered with JD Fresh, JD.com’s fresh food business, marking the Brazil-based meat supplier’s first foray into retail business in China. Under the partnership, JBS will launch a flagship store on JD.com.

 

To read the full announcement: Click Here

 

China retail ‘after Covit-19’ in store innovation says 7Fresh head

 

China’s retail industry remains behind the curve in-store innovation, which stands as a hurdle to the Chinese market’s inevitable dominance in global retail.

 

The observation was among several key insights shared by 7Fresh head Jonathan Wang in a recent interview circulated by JD, which owns the 7Fresh omnichannel fresh-food supermarket business.

 

“The key factors driving global retail transformation are quite simple: channel reformation, store format innovation and supply chain management,” said Wang. “China is already leading the global retail industry in channel reformation and digitizing the supply chain, but is still lagging behind the leading players, such as the US and Japan in terms of store innovation.”

 

To read the full article: Click Here

 

SEVEN FRESH Announces Development Goals

 

SEVEN FRESH, JD.com’s fresh food store, announced its development goals on December 22, striving to become top-notch chain retail brand in China within the next 5-7 years.

 

SEVEN FRESH’s development goals revolve around supply chain networks, products and service quality.

 

“As SEVEN FRESH continues to develop its business across China, it will primarily focus on two regions, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Urban Agglomeration and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area,” noted Feng Zheng, president of SEVEN FRESH.

 

To read the full article: Click Here

THE TEAM AT AIMS WOULD LIKE TO WISH EVERY MEMBER A VERY HAPPY AND SUCCESSFUL NEW YEAR.

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

Click Here to return to Members Area

30th December

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Covid: Warning over patchy lateral flow test supply

 

It is being widely reported on the media that there are supply issues with Lateral Flow Test Kits. Below you will find the links for collecting LFD test kits and ordering PCR kits. 

 

  • Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests Click Here and follow the on-screen instructions

 

  • Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) Click Here and follow the on-screen instructions

 

Should you be experiencing large scale absences of staff (that is 20%+) and need to access PCR kits please contact tony.goodger@aims2001.co.uk as we have been advised that senior officials in the food emergency and resilience group can arrange kits for you and your staff.

 

We have also had sight of an internal NHS memo sent to staff yesterday, Wednesday 29th December which supports the Lateral Flow Test Shortage. It reads as follows: 

 

Dear colleagues

 

We are aware that there is both a local/national shortage of LFTs (although this is likely to be temporary). Therefore, any staff member who requires these should:

• Ask other staff/ teams if they have any they can spare

Ask neighbours and family

Keep trying local stockists and the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

 

If you are unable to access these, then please adopt additional infection prevention and control measures:

No car sharing

Ensure PPE is worn correctly at all times 

Breaks to be taken alone

Assess patients that are being seen – any who are high risk to defer if clinically stable / undertake risk assessment

 

Get a goods movement reference Click Here

 

The requirements to get a goods movement reference from 1st January 2022 have been updated. 

 

This is because of changes to the goods vehicle movement service and the decision to temporarily extend staged customs controls for goods moving from Ireland and Northern Ireland (where applicable) to Great Britain.

 

We also advise members who are exporting or importing to Check how to move goods through ports that use the goods vehicle movement service Click Here

 

To Check which locations need an arrived export declaration from 1st January 2022 Click Here

Avian Influenza

 

Avian influenza (bird flu): cases and disease control zones in England Click Here

 

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in commercial poultry at a premises near North Somercotes, East Lindsey, Lincolnshire

 

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed in commercial poultry at a premises near Watlington, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Norfolk. 

 

A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone has been put in place around each of the premises.

 

New Government support package to help more disabled people into work

 

26,000 work coaches are undergoing accessibility training to improve jobcentre services for disabled people.

 

Around one in five working-age adults report having a disability, therefore health and disability issues are affecting the working lives of millions of people.

 

The learning is called Accessibility Fundamentals and is a one-hour learning product that will be completed by all DWP colleagues in work coach roles along with their line managers

 

We looked at the Microsoft Accessibility Fundamentals website: Click Here and believe that some members HR staff may wish to do the course, which is free.

 

Members in Wales

 

Keep Wales Safe as omicron surges Click Here

 

Dr Chris Jones, Wales’ deputy chief medical officer, encouraged people across Wales to get their booster vaccine and follow measures to curb the spread of the virus.

 

New alert level 2 measures for businesses and updated and strengthened guidance to help people stay safe at home came into effect on Boxing Day in Wales in response to the predicted omicron wave.

The key things everyone can do to lower their risk of contracting coronavirus:

  • Get fully vaccinated, including having your booster – the vaccine offers significant protections for you and for people you care about.

  • Self-isolate and get a PCR if you have Covid-19 symptoms. Avoid others when ill.

  • Take lateral flow tests twice a week if you don’t have any symptoms and flow before you go out or meet people. If it’s positive don’t go and arrange to have a PCR test.

  • Keep your distance from others wherever possible.

  • Limit the number of people you meet with, especially if you’re meeting different people in quick succession.

  • Meet outdoors if you can or in well-ventilated places.

  • Avoid crowded places where possible.

  • Wash your hands; sneeze into tissues and keep surfaces lots of people touch clean.

  • Wear a face covering, especially in crowded spaces.

  • Use the NHS COVID Pass or show a negative lateral flow test result to attend large events, venues, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

  • For details of the booster program in Wales: Click Here

 

Members in Scotland

 

Businesses allocated £107 million support Click Here

 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced how £107 million is being allocated to support businesses impacted by the spread of the Omicron variant.

 

The funding, which follows an initial £100 million* Click Here lifeline package, means the Scottish Government has now allocated £207 million of the £375 million committed to business support. 

 

Following discussions with stakeholders, this latest package is targeted at some of the hardest hit sectors and payments will start in the new year. We will ensure that this information is circulated to members as soon as it becomes available

 

*NOTE: The initial £100million included money for the supply chain to the hospitality sector

 

For further details on the Scottish December and January Business Support Top Up Click Here

 

NOTE: A further round of the Scottish Wholesale Food and Drink Resilience Fund will run in January 2022.

 

Digital identity document validation technology (IDVT) Click Here

 

This joint announcement Click Here sets out the key outcomes of the review, and how the Home Office is working with DCMS and DBS to enable employers and landlords (letting agents) to use certified identification document validation technology (IDVT) service providers to carry out digital identity checks on their behalf for many who are not in scope to use the Home Office online services, including British and Irish citizens, from 6th April 2022. 

 

This will enable checks to continue to be conducted remotely but with enhanced security.

 

How to work out the weight of packaging for Plastic Packaging Tax Click Here

 

You must use the overall weight of a component when working out the recycled plastic content, not the net weight.

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

Click Here to return to Members Area

29th December

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Reflections on CCTV – Stephen Lomax
 

All sensible people recognise that problems are best anticipated. Surely nobody would prefer to be reactive rather than proactive?

 

When compulsory CCTV was first advocated, AIMS noted that many of our most progressive members already had it in the live animal areas. Some of our most thoughtful members regarded it as an imposition on the civil rights of their staff. Everyone knows that treatment of residents in care homes is not infrequently deplorable, but unions would never tolerate CCTV monitoring of care home staff. Government does not care about the rights of abattoir workers. AIMS promoted the view that CCTV was a valuable tool for training by management. The complete focus of FSA on criminal prosecution rather than improving standards compromised scope for plants to use CCTV for training but, with our assistance, this could definitely be overcome.

 

All this is history. Not only is CCTV now statutory but individual rights generally seem little valued, especially in respect of technology, whatever weasel words are repeated. So where are we now? Anybody familiar with police work - real or fictional - knows that CCTV is now the key. To suggest that prevention and enforcement of crime might depend on a police officer randomly walking or driving past would now be laughable.

 

However, it is my view that CCTV is unforgivably underexploited for improving animal welfare by plant operators. We became obsessed with location of cameras. Now the issue is more where the monitors are. If animal welfare is a low priority for management, how can we expect staff to care? Surely one of the monitors should be on the plant manager’s or Managing Director's desk? This is the case in two exemplary large plants and in one of these Animal Aid found no breaches or evidence of poor practice. I visited a very well run and compliant plant to facilitate removal of the OV for incompetence. One element was the OV urinating in the production area, recorded on CCTV, which proves the point. I remarked to the "knocker", a very experienced man, that he was now on "Candid Camera" all day and every day because the OV could see everything he did. He replied he did not care about the OV, only his boss, who had a monitor on his desk.

 

At AIMS we watch thousands of hours of CCTV footage. FSA would say that shortage of time limits the opportunities for OVs to view material. This is patently nonsense because very little is done by OVs which benefits public health at all, and yet animal welfare must be a higher priority than feeding the bureaucratic machine and making Mr Eville and Mr Jones even richer. The true reason is that viewing CCTV is staggeringly, mind numbingly boring, especially if you are paid less for doing it than I am. Nevertheless, it reveals a huge amount of valuable information. I have never yet been accused of avoiding unpalatable truths and in some plants standards of animal handling are unsatisfactory, from time to time poor. Are management aware? Do they care? Why wait to be prosecuted or clandestinely filmed and in the "Daily Mail"? 

 

Every plant must have an Animal Welfare Officer by law. This should be their principal role - what could be more important than animal welfare in an abattoir? If the animal welfare officer's other tasks give them insufficient time to identify unsatisfactory welfare and re-train accordingly, something is badly wrong.

 

We suggest that the AWO should compile a selection of abstracts from CCTV to illustrate poor practice and this should be shown to staff involved at least every 2 months. It should not be circulated and should not be shared with FSA. If staff ignore instructions to take corrective action, they should be disciplined and if the AWO is conflict averse, they should be replaced with somebody equal to the task.

 

You all have the tools to improve welfare.

 

Clandestine filming will never cease to be a major risk. The best protection is high standards, assured by reviewing CCTV yourselves. Who would be foolish enough to rely on OVs to protect welfare? Who would rely on an OV for the future of your business? Nevertheless, those performing high level cleaning within line of sight of live animals should look out for cameras and wires. Animal AID, the current manifestation, will never lose interest and from time to time their priorities will focus on abattoirs rather than medical research, hunt sabbing or badgers. They are riding the crest of the wave at present because of the Prime Minister's wife but recent events suggest that they may in the near future lose privileged access and revert to what I believe is called "direct action". I note that whenever we review such footage, we often see practices that are less than ideal, often not commented on or recognised by FSA. An AWO should have picked up all of these problems and dealt with them with the staff involved - all of them.

 

Another problem that perturbs me is difficulties in getting cattle into the box. The thoughtful may comment that farmers, including me, have difficulty getting cattle into the stocks for TB testing. However, TB testing is painful and endlessly repeated - slaughtering should not be. The problem is often fundamentals of bad design, going back to where the box was positioned when first made compulsory. Personally, I do not regard disproportionate cost as any excuse at all. If the overwhelming majority of cattle will not go in without substantial coercion, the problem should be solved, or I believe you should not be slaughtering cattle. We can advise you or obtain advice on  design, practice and grants.

 

Anybody who has persistent, intractable problems loading cattle into the stunning pen should see the very best modern plants . They will be amazed. This is not just about investment because one of the best plants now had no infringements demonstrated by Animal Aid in clandestine filming many years ago in their previous very old plant. Plants can be constructed so cattle go in like dairy cows going in to be milked.

 

Personally, I passionately hate almost every aspect of the modern world, but I am equally emphatic that we have to live with modern reality. When I started in the meat trade, slaughtermen were often animal enthusiasts, often drawn from an agricultural background. Many kept cage birds as well as dogs and horses and a well-known worker in the Midlands had a peak of 48 guinea pigs. Just like most gamekeepers and hunt servants are passionate about wildlife, they knew that death is a crucial part of life. We need to recognise that those days are largely gone. We must therefore ensure that anybody who works with live animals knows that animals are not inanimate units of production and anybody who treats them as such should be initially retrained but ruthlessly removed if they cannot understand.

 

The message is very simple. You, the boss, should know what is really going on in your plant. Staff should be in no doubt how crucially important humane animal handling and slaughtering is. The objective is exemplary standards, not just avoiding observation by FSA. The AWO must be given ample time to monitor CCTV and show his or her findings to the guilty parties. If compliance is not rapidly achieved, with retraining formal and recorded, disciplinary procedures must be rapidly escalated, including dismissal when appropriate. Perception is everything, so needless shouting and swearing at animals, especially displays of temper, should be ruthlessly stamped out. 

 

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

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28th December

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

EU – GB Imports:

 

For emergencies only

 

Between Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January 2022, inclusive, if you have urgent import consignment (animal products only) in transit from the EU and require urgent help, please call

 

  • HMRC for customs declarations – 0300 322 9434

 

  • APHA for urgent imports - 03000 200 301 and press 3

 

Please note: non-urgent enquiries will not be dealt with by APHA between Saturday 1st to Monday 3rd January 2022,inclusive.

 

On working days you can continue to send enquiries to imports@apha.gov.uk – on bank holidays this mailbox will be monitored limited hours. 

 

If you have general enquiries about importing animal products from the EU there is policy, technical and operational requirements information available on the microsite: Click Here

 

If your query cannot be answered by these resources then please email traders@defra.gov.uk and these will be answered as soon as possible. 

 

If you are a business based in the EU and have questions, please send your enquiry to eutraderenquiries@defra.gov.uk and this will be answered as soon as possible. 

 

Please note: the traders and eutraders mailboxes will not be monitored at weekends and bank holidays.

And Finally…

 

Public urged to protect themselves from online sales scams Click Here

 

Whilst this is aimed at personal technology we did feel it was worthwhile including on an update and some, if not all, of the advice can be used for business computers, smartphones etc.

 

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is encouraging people to shop online securely by following five actionable steps:

 

  1. Keeping accounts secure - strong and separate passwords should be used for the most important online accounts, including email, banking or payment accounts (such as PayPal). The NCSC recommends using three random words to create a password. Turning on two-step verification can add an extra layer of protection.

  2. Be aware of emails, text messages or websites that look too good to be true or suspicious - many scammers set up fake messages designed to steal financial and personal information. Members of the public can report suspicious messages to the NCSC via text to 7726 and email to report@phishing.gov.uk.

  3. Choose online retailers carefully - research stores before buying to confirm they are legitimate through trustworthy consumer websites. Some emails or texts about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites. If unsure, don’t use the link.

  4. Use a credit card for online payments if possible - most major credit card providers protect online purchases, and are obliged to refund individuals in certain circumstances.

  5. Only provide enough details to complete a purchase - only fill in the mandatory details on a website when shopping online (often marked with an asterisk).

 

This warning against online scams comes alongside growing concern about the vulnerability of people’s personal technology. Hackers are targeting individuals’ applications and email accounts, gaining access to personal and financial information and exposing individuals to considerable risk.

 

As people receive new laptops and smartphones over Christmas, the risks are magnified. The government is also encouraging individuals to ensure that any new devices are protected to keep personal and financial information secure from hackers.

 

However, these dangers are easily avoidable by adopting two key Cyber Aware behaviours:

 

  • Turning on two-step verification

 

  • Using three random words to secure your email accounts

 

For further guidance on how to stay secure online, visit Cyber Aware: Click Here

 

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

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27th December

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Coronavirus Update

 

Find help and support if you have long COVID Click Here

 

This is a new web page on Gov.UK providing details the range of support available for those with Long Covid.

 

How to do a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test Click Here

 

NOTE: Rapid tests are only for people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

 

Added guidance on how to do a SureScreen rapid nose-only test Click Here and information on how to give test kit feedback or report harm Click Here

 

There is also a video showing how to do a SureScreen rapid nose-only test Click Here

 

It is also available in Easy Read format: Click Here

 

And Large Print Format: Click Here

 

The Guidance is available in the following languages: 

Arabic: Click Here

Bengali: Click Here

Dari: Click Here

Farsi: Click Here

Gujarati: Click Here

Hindi: Click Here

Punjabi Gurmukhi: Click Here

Punjabi Shahmukhi: Click Here

Polish: Click Here

Pashto: Click Here

Romanian: Click Here

Slovak: Click Here

Somali: Click Here

Turkish: Click Here

Urdu: Click Here

Welsh: Click Here

Chinese (Simplified): Click Here

Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer transport guidance for operators and people who work in or from vehicles Click Here

 

The guidance on self-isolation has been updated. This is under section: Who should be at work Click Here

 

Get a coronavirus (COVID-19) test if you’re an HGV or van driver Click Here

 

The requirement to enter Germany has changed from a lateral flow test to a PCR test taken in the 48 hours before entry.

 

NOTE: HGV drivers do not need to quarantine on arrival in Germany if they have either spent less than 72 hours in the UK or will spend less than 72 hours in Germany

 

Haulier advice site locations Click Here

 

From Wednesday 29th December, limited PCR tests are available from the Doncaster North haulier advice site for drivers using the direct ferry between Immingham and Cuxhaven.

 

COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection Click Here

 

Clarified testing advice for ending self-isolation early: Click Here

 

There is also an infographic available: Click Here

 

Avian Influenza

 

Avian influenza (bird flu) Click Here

 

Updated biosecurity posters are now available for:

 

 

Abattoir Operator Members – Your right to view your Chronos Report

 

As previously flagged to members, Chronos is the system FSA use to log all enforcement activity for your plant. Many of you have asked your OVs for copies of your Chronos report, and on the whole, OVs have supplied it. FSA themselves agree that it should always be available to FBOs.

 

It is AIMS’ view that abattoir operators should be allowed to log onto Chronos at any time in order that they can see what information has been entered onto the system about their business. This would help members to make more informed business decisions and ensure that corrective actions are quickly addressed. It can also highlight items that the OV hasn’t necessarily informed you about. 

 

We have been in correspondence with the FSA to this effect however, they tell us that they unable to allow access by specific FBO plants to the information and that it isn’t possible for FBO’s to have their own unique log on.

 

Chronos is used as evidence in enforcement action and also feeds directly into your FSA Audit.

 

We therefore advise all AIMS Abattoir operators to ensure that they take a copy of the MHI’s / OV’s day book every day for your records and also ask for a Chronos print out for every kill day. 

 

NOTE: Taken from pages 15 to 18 Manual of Official Controls: Click Here

 

The Manual of Controls states: -  3.3.2 Daybook access All FSA operational staff must have ready access to the daybook. The OV should inform the FBO that they are entitled to read and make entries in the daybook and reasonable access should be provided.

 

Note: Contemporaneous notes should be recorded in your personal official notebook where access to the daybook is not readily available. These notes need not be transcribed into the daybook although a reference to their existence should be made.

 

Should you be refused access to your site’s information or denied the opportunity to photocopy the day book please let us know in order that we can take this up with the FSA

 

Visas

 

We picked up the following announcement from Defra and Home Office on Christmas Eve: Industry given certainty around seasonal workers but told to focus on domestic workforce Click Here

 

The announcement follows the Seasonal workers pilot review Click Here which showed that the scheme has been effective for fruit and vegetable pickers. 

 

The visa scheme to allow seasonal workers to come to the UK will continue, but the government has demanded a plan from the sector to cut the reliance on foreign labour.

 

The Home Office and DEFRA announced today (24 December) the Seasonal Worker visa route will be extended until the end of 2024, which allows foreign workers to come to the UK for up to six months to work in the horticulture sector and is being extended to include ornamental plant and flowers.

 

There will be 30,000 visas available next year, but this will be kept under review with the potential to increase by 10,000 if necessary. 

 

We will be contacting Defra and Home Office in the early new year to make the case for the scheme to also be offered for seasonal poultry workers in the period from October to the New Year. This would give poultry processing members the reassurance of having a means by which to secure labour during the busiest period of the year. We will also be asking that where a member has a sponsorship license that they be exempted from the requirement to use one of the 4 Government appointed labour providers.

 

It is also worth noting that also on Christmas Eve it was announced that there would be changes to the Visa scheme for health and social care workers: Biggest visa boost for social care as Health and Care Visa scheme expanded Click Here

 

The changes will allow for thousands of additional care workers to be recruited to boost the adult social care workforce following temporary changes to the health and care visa to make social care workers, care assistants and home care workers eligible for a 12-month period. 

 

It is our belief that were the Government to offer a similar 12 month butchers (Standard Occupation Code 5431) and meat processors (Standard Occupation Code 8111) visa scheme during which time there would be a requirement for the employee to achieve the required English Language level. We would then want those successful staff to then be given the opportunity to transfer from a 12 month temporary visa to a full Skilled Worker Visa. 

 

Again we will be making representations along these lines to the Home Office in the early New Year

Please Note: There was no National Cyber Security Centre Threat Report published last week.

 

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

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24th December

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Coronavirus Update

 

Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person Click Here

 

The Guidance document: Click Here has been updated to reflect changes to the self-isolation advice for people who have received a positive COVID-19 test result.

 

COVID-19 infection rates are very high and the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly. The self-isolation advice for contacts of people with COVID-19 has changed to reduce the risk of spread to others.

 

Anyone aged 5 years and over, who has been identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 and who is not legally required to self-isolate, is now strongly advised to take a rapid lateral flow device (LFD) test every day for 7 days or until 10 days since their last contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19 if this is earlier. If any of these LFD tests are positive they should self-isolate in order to protect other people.

 

NHS Test and Trace in the workplace Click Here

 

The web page has been updated to reflect changes to the self-isolation guidance.

 

The self-isolation advice for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed. 

 

It is now possible to end self-isolation after 7 days, following 2 negative LFD (lateral flow device) tests taken 24 hours apart. 

 

The first LFD test should not be taken before the sixth day.

 

In addition, the NHS Test and Trace: what to do if you are contacted Click Here page has also been updated with the same information as above.

 

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) Click Here

 

  • Shops, branches, and close contact services Click Here

 

It’s now possible to end self-isolation after 7 days instead of 10 days following 2 negative lateral flow test results on day 6 and 7. See Section 4.3 - Click Here

 

 

It’s now possible to end self-isolation after 7 days instead of 10 days following 2 negative lateral flow test results on day 6 and 7. See Section 2.3 - Click Here

 

  • Restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs and takeaway services Click Here

 

It’s now possible to end self-isolation after 7 days instead of 10 days following 2 negative lateral flow test results on day 6 and 7. See Section 4.3 - Click Here

Avian Influenza

 

Avian influenza (bird flu): cases and disease control zones in England Click Here

 

A further update has been issued for the rules on meat produced from poultry and farmed game birds originating in the Protection Zone.

 

Members with Farms or with close links to Farms…

 

Farming Investment Fund Click Here

 

A link added to the Farming Transformation Fund Improving Farming Productivity grant

 

The Improving Farm Productivity grant will pay for capital items to improve farm and horticulture productivity through:  

 

  • The use of robotic or autonomous equipment and systems to aid crop and livestock production 

 

  • The installation of slurry acidification equipment (to improve nutrient management and reduce ammonia emissions). 

 

Applications will open in mid-January but you can read the Improving Farm Productivity grant manual Click Here to see a full list of items that are eligible for the scheme and help you consider your options.

 

For More details or to discuss any grant funding opportunities please contact Alastair Beacon at AIMS Supplier Partner Westley Consulting Ltd.

 

Tel: 01630 673733

Mob: 07968 585101

Email: adb@westleyconsulting.co.uk

www.westleyconsulting.co.uk

 

Members in Wales

 

£120m financial support for businesses in Wales impacted by Omicron Click Here

 

The Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, has announced the details of the £120m funding which will be available for retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism business and their supply chains affected by the move to alert level 2

 

Registration will open via local authority websites from the week commencing 10 of January.

 

Impacted hospitality and leisure businesses and their supply chains will be able to apply for top up funding from a new Economic Resilience Fund (ERF). Eligible businesses can apply for grants of between £2,500k - £25,000, with grants dependent on their size and number of employees. The application window for ERF will open in week commencing 17 January 2022 with payments starting to reach businesses within days.

 

An eligibility checker which will help businesses to gage how much they can expect to receive under the new support package will be available on Business Wales by the start of 2022

 

Members in Scotland

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer businesses and workplaces Click Here

 

With the arrival of the Omicron variant, businesses should strengthen compliance with current protection measures and make an extra effort to do so through the festive period and beyond.

 

Continued collective effort and commitment, particularly in sticking to the rules and guidance in place, will be a critical part of our response to the challenging winter ahead.

 

This guidance is for all businesses and workplaces and provides advice on measures to reduce risk and create a safe environment for customers and staff.

 

AIMS Friday Insights

 

AIMS Friday Insight will now appear on the Friday Update. We are aiming to cover market research, market reports and general updates from across the world of retail and foodservice.

 

First Look: inside Asda's new Milton Keynes destination store

 

“How we shop has changed dramatically since the heyday of the out-of-town superstore in the 1990s, creating big challenges for food retailers to keep the space relevant and engaging for shoppers. Could Asda have found a winning formula with its newly relaunched Milton Keynes store?

 

A just-completed £6.8m refit of features a host of innovations and trials that offers a vision of how large stores could be reinvented for the digital and post Covid world.”

 

We found of interest… Digital signage enhances reconfigured grocery area and believe that this could be really well used in the meat category with signage taking raw to cooked / serving suggestions and maybe with the addition of a QR Code for shoppers to scan to download the shown recipe and possibly even to create the recipes shopping list

 

To read the full report which has been written by Nick Gladding, Senior Retail Analyst at IGD: Click Here

 

5 must-see food-to-go stores in London right now

 

London is the place to go to see some of the newest food-to-go concepts that have evolved over the pandemic. Here is the pick of the top five stores right now: Click Here

 

We have added weblinks to the 5 concepts featured 

 

Atis: Click Here

Hop: Click Here

Choppaluna: Click Here

Farmer J’s: Click Here

Cojean: Click Here

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL 

 

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a Safe New Year

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23rd December

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

 

Coronavirus Update

 

Self-isolation for COVID-19 cases reduced from 10 to 7 days following negative LFD tests Click Here

 

With immediate effect there is new guidance which will enable the 10-day self-isolation period for people who have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) to be reduced to 7 days, in most cases.

 

People who receive negative LFD results on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period – with tests taken 24 hours apart – will no longer have to self-isolate for the full 10 days. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period.

 

Those who leave self-isolation on or after day 7 are strongly advised to limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home and minimise contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID- 19.

 

In line with this change the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection Guidance has been updated: Click Here

 

Test and Trace services continue over the festive period Click Here

 

NOTE: The opening times are inclusive of local and drive through testing sites but not mobile testing units.

 

Avian Influenza

 

Avian influenza (bird flu): cases and disease control zones in England Click Here

 

The web page has been further updated for rules on meat produced from poultry and farmed game birds originating in the Protection Zone

 

Highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed in non-commercial birds at a second premises near Helsby, Cheshire

 

Highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed in captive birds (non-poultry) at a premises near Buckfastleigh, Devon

 

Question from a Member

 

We received a question from a member yesterday in relation to yesterday’s update and the section on Foreign Travel Advice – The Netherlands: Click Here asking what the position is as regards HGV Drivers entering the Netherlands from the UK. 

 

The answer is as follows:

 

There are exemptions in place from the Dutch Government and these include HGV drivers

 

HGV drivers from the UK entering the Netherlands do not have to show a negative COVID-19 test, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery and do not have to quarantine. 

 

They must carry an employer’s declaration to demonstrate the essential nature of their travel. 

 

For more information visit the website of the National Association of Transport Operators Click Here

 

NOTE: Members may also find the Haulier advice site locations web page of interest: Click Here which has been updated with the Christmas and New Year opening hours for the haulier advice and COVID-19 testing sites, advice sites aboard ferries and the Hook of Holland advice site.

 

HR Update

 

Figures and Recent News Update: SSP, Family Friendly Leave and Fit Notes

 

Partner at AIMS Supplier Member Collingwood Legal, (www.collingwoodlegal.com) Solicitor, Paul Johnston has written an article on these recent update

 

To read the full article: Click Here

 

The AIMS lead at Collingwood Legal is Jane Sinnamon

Direct Dial: 0191 282 2884
Mobile: 07788586707
jane.sinnamon@collingwoodlegal.com

 

Members in Wales

 

Strengthened measures to keep Wales safe as omicron strikes Click Here

 

New alert level 2 measures will be introduced from 6am on Boxing Day (Sunday 26th December 2021). These are as follows:

  • A general requirement of 2m social distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces, where reasonable.

  • The rule of 6 will apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.

  • All licensed premises will need to take additional measures to protect customers and staff, including table service and collecting contact details.

  • Face coverings will be required in hospitality settings at all times apart from when seated.

  • Large events will not be allowed indoors or outdoors. The maximum number of people who can gather at an indoor event will be 30 and 50 outdoors.

  • There will be an exception for team sports, up to 50 spectators will be able to gather, in addition to those taking part. There is also an exception for events involving children.

Last week new measures were announced for workplaces and retail – these will now come into force on Boxing Day. Nightclubs will also close on Boxing Day.

The Welsh Government will not be making new rules about mixing in people’s private homes, including gardens, in holiday accommodation or meeting outdoors. Instead guidance will be issued to help people stay safe.

To help you stay safe in your own home, we strongly advise everyone follows these 5 measures:

  • Limit the number of people visiting your home.

  • If people are visiting, make sure they take a lateral flow test in the morning before the visit.

  • Meeting outdoors is better than indoors. If you’re meeting indoors make sure it’s well ventilated.

  • Space out any visits.

  • And don’t forget about social distancing and washing your hands.

There will be a separate offence for large gatherings – more than 30 people indoors or 50 people outdoors – in private homes and gardens.

Members in Northern Ireland

 

Statement on Executive decisions: Measures to limit the spread of Omicron – 22nd December 2021 Click Here

 

The Executive has agreed that from 06:00 on 26th  December:

 

  • Nightclubs will close.

  • Dancing in all hospitality venues will not be allowed.  (Does not apply to weddings or civil partnership celebrations)

  • All indoor standing events will not be allowed.

 

From 06:00 on 27th December, the following apply:

 

  1. It is strongly recommended that household mixing should be reduced to a maximum of 3 households.

  2. There will be a legal requirement for businesses to take reasonable measures to achieve 2m social distancing in office spaces or, where this cannot be achieved, to provide alternative mitigations.

  3. It is strongly recommended that you should work from home where possible and where that is not possible that there should be regular workplace testing.

 

  • There will be a statutory duty on businesses to take reasonable measures to promote compliance with face coverings requirements, with a grace period until 7th January before enforcement is implemented.

  • The exemption of wearing a face covering where it causes severe stress will be removed and the onus of proving an exemption on medical grounds will be on the individual, with a grace period until 7 January before enforcement is implemented.

  • There will be a legal duty on businesses to take all reasonable steps to minimize transmission of the spread of the virus, with a grace period until 7 January before enforcement is implemented.

  • You will be required to be seated in all indoor hospitality settings with a maximum of 6 people, or 10 people from a single household, allowed at a table.  (Children aged 12 and under are not counted in the total. This requirement does not apply to weddings or civil partnership celebrations.)

  • Indoor seated and all outdoor events can proceed and it is strongly recommended that face coverings should be worn, LFD tests should be taken before attending events and there should be no multi-household travel in the same vehicle.

 

  • The Executive is currently developing a financial support package based on the circumstances and challenges facing businesses. 

 

  • The Executive will be reconvening next week and will take into account any further interventions that may be required.

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

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22nd December - Energy Update in Association with Consider Energy

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

Markets have sat back with astonishment this week, with many of the trading sessions deteriorating into massacre. 

 

Large, crippling increases has seen records shatter across the UK and the EU with seemingly little or no hope on the horizon. 

 

We week started with gloom, as it has become apparent to markets that Asia and the EU will continue to fight it out over LNG Cargoes well into next year; with Russian Flows marginal and demand remaining buoyant in Europe and indeed Asia; competition between the two continents has been incredible this year. For some time during the summer months, when the EU/UK were reliant on LNG in order to refill depleted storage levels the cargoes just didn’t arrive, attracted to a Asian Market with a substantial premium over its EU Counterparts. 

 

LNG cargoes have increased undoubtedly over the winter period into Europe, thanks to the sustained rise in prices, it is clear that the Asian Market will not relinquish their grip on LNG; as a result; Prices only have upward movement available. 

 

This particular issue has manifested itself in Q2 2022 Offers, with a large increase in the early part of the week. Gas prices maintained their strong uptrend throughout the week, supported further by the usual concerns on low Russian supply as Gazprom did not book day-ahead capacity into Mallnow via the Yamal pipeline yesterday. 

 

Moreover, the head of German energy regulator said yesterday there will be no final decision on the certification of the operator of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the first half of 2022 and additionally unplanned outages at French Nuclear sites provided additional support as they might require higher gas-fired generation in France and in neighbouring countries. 

 

As a result, UK Gas Prices have surged over the course of the week, despite system demand remaining well below seasonal norms. There have been some incredible increases as follows:

 

Day Ahead: 324.50p/Therm (Up 63.87p/therm this week)

Front Month: 327.50p/Therm (Up 65p/therm)

Q1 2022: 316.24p/Therm (Up 59.86p/therm)

 

These increases this week alone are incredible, given that the increased figures are roughly what the commodity was actually trading at not too long ago. Gas Prices across the continent are also pressured, with the EU Benchmark, Dutch TTF, hitting a scorching €142/mWh yesterday. Which is the equivalent of $270 per barrel of Oil… which is frankly crazy!

 

As you would have imagined, these increases have fed into Electricity Market with brutal damage and swiftness. Records have been broken and we now face into the teeth of winter with some serious problems. 

 

A significant drop in Wind Generation over the next week, has only fuelled the crisis that now engulfs the Market. 

 

The increases across the Power Curve have been huge, with the bulk of the damage being felt on the near curve, with offers now pushing well over £400/mWh, with offers on Front Month Electricity close to £500/mWh (Record level). Perhaps more alarming are the increases felt on the far curve, with the bulk of 2022 now pricing in the realms of £180-200/mWh and offers for 2023 now ranging from £100-115/mWh giving the impression that these supply issues are going to drag on for a considerable amount of time. The situation on the continent is not much different, here are some startling figures on some Day Ahead Offers in the EU:

 

France: €353.09/mWh

Germany: €344.3/mWh

Netherlands: €333.22/mWh

Spain: €302.48/mWh

Switzerland: €368.21/mWh

 

With temperatures set to deteriorate into next week, there is a sense that offers could still rise higher, despite a small brief respite this morning as some potential profit taking takes place. With geopolitical pressures now increasing by the day for the imposition of sanctions against the Kremlin it can surely be questioned if we will ever see Nord Stream 2 commercially operational… 

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