Daily Update

24th September

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

Businesses get more time to prepare for digital tax changes Click Here

 

Businesses will have an extra year to prepare for the digitalisation of Income Tax, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced.

 

Recognising the challenges faced by many UK businesses and their representatives as the country emerges from the pandemic, and having listened to stakeholder feedback, the government will introduce Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) a year later than planned, in the tax year beginning in April 2024.

 

Making Tax Digital for Income Tax for businesses: step by step Click Here

 

Find out how to use Making Tax Digital for Income Tax instead of a Self-Assessment tax return and how to sign up your business if you’re eligible.

 

To Check if you're eligible for Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Click Here

 

Animal by-products for the manufacture of pet food to, or transit through, the European Union and Northern Ireland: certificate 8311 Click Here

 

The guidance notes have been updated: Click Here

 

Transiting animals and animal products through Great Britain Click Here

 

Updated the guidance with new dates for the introduction of controls on transit goods

 

  • EU to Great Britain to EU transitsClick Here

 

  • EU to Great Britain to EU transits from 1 January 2022Click Here

 

  • EU to Great Britain to EU transits from July 2022Click Here

 

  • EU to Great Britain to non-EU countries transitsClick Here

 

  • EU to Great Britain to non-EU countries transits from January 2022Click Here

 

  • EU to Great Britain to non-EU countries transits from July 2022Click Here

 

 

  • Imports from non-EU countries to Great Britain that travel through the EU Click Here

 

Advanced Notice – AIMS Update Live Events

 

Succession planning and business continuity - and AIMS exclusive webinar with Roythornes Solicitors – Wednesday 20th October 2021 10:30

 

Running a business is never easy, and when it’s a family business, there are additional complications. One of the biggest challenges to many businesses is when a director, major shareholder or Partner is unable to continue to undertake their role. Can the business continue to run without key individuals present? What happens to the shares in the business and what actions can businesses take to mitigate the impact?

With 56% of abattoirs having no succession plans, (National Craft Butchers survey July 2020), the sector faces a real challenge for its future.

Problems can arise when you least expect them and for reasons you never previously considered such as accidents, mental incapacity, or death. These events obviously have a devastating impact for families, but their business can be equally affected.

Join experts from Roythornes Private Client and Corporate teams as they discuss the issues many business owners face but don’t necessarily tackle or have plans in place for.

They will look at how good planning can ease transitions and keep businesses running when the worst happens, and how alternative business structures can cope with incidents in different ways.

They will also consider common sense succession planning on a personal level – something most of us know we should do, but sadly we’ve not often ‘had the conversation’ with those we should have done – whether family or work colleagues.

Attending this seminar will make you, your family and your business better prepared to cope with eventualities and better place to face the future.

NOTE: You will need to Register for this webinar. To do this, Click Here

 

 

AIMS Update Live – Export Markets and EU Update – Wednesday 27th September 2021 11:00

 

Join Phil Hadley, Director of International Market Development at AHDB will provide an overview of which countries are open for exports from the UK and which products can be exported. 

 

He will provide a round up from the Anuga Trade Show and be available to answer questions from members.

 

If you are an exporter or are looking to enter the export market this webinar is for you.

 

This webinar will be on Teams and a link will be sent out at the start of October.

 

Lamb Exports to the USA

 

As many of you will have seen, the media have been reporting that UK lamb will now be available for export to the USA.

 

At present there has been no formal announcement from either the UK or US as regards the opening of this market.

 

We have spoken with AHDB and will be ready to provide members with full details once the details have been finalised. In the meantime we are simply supporting this quote:

 

AHDB International Market Development Director Dr Phil Hadley said: “We have been working with UK government for a number of years to see our lamb back in the US – a move which is estimated to be worth £37 million in the first five years of trade. Alongside opportunities for our superior genetics for US sheep breeders, this would be a fantastic boost for the sheep sector and we look forward to seeing the detail in the coming days.”

Employment Law – Will a redundancy dismissal be unfair if there is no offer of appeal?

 

Managing Partner, Paul McGowan at AIMS Supplier Member, Collingwood Legal (www.collingwoodlegal.com) has written a case update on this Court of Appeal decision.

 

To read Paul’s update: Click Here

 

The AIMS lead at Collingwood Legal is Jane Sinnamon

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

 

And Finally…

 

SOME MINOR UPDATES FROM GOVERNMENT:

 

  1. The Passenger locator form: How to guide is now available in Bulgarian: Click Here

 

  1. You are now able to store your NHS COVID Pass Click Here for international travel in Apple Wallet, even if your device is offline.

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

23rd September

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

Passenger locator form: How to guide 

 

The Border Force have published a How to Guide for people entering to the UK providing instructions as to how to complete a passenger locator form: Click Here

 

In addition to English, it is available in the following languages:

 

 

Skilled Worker Visas

 

We have been looking at some of the rules which are proving to be barriers to entry for butchers/assistant butchers. We believe that you could get meat processing staff in by classifying the workers as assistant butchers.

 

When I checked the most recently updated list for approved sponsors Click Here many members were listed but by no means not all. It may well be that the agencies you are using are listed so it is well worth checking

 

Were you to be listed or the agencies you might be using listed, then you would immediately have 20 points towards the 70 points required for skilled worker. 

 

You are prepared to offer the job of a butcher at the required skilled level (See point A below) This will provide them with 20 points.

 

If you offer a salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) This will provide them with 20 points.

 

Which leaves 10 points needed.

 

We understand that there are butchers available in the Philippines and Brazil.

 

Given that English is one of the two languages of the Philippines it could well be that Butchers from there will be able to achieve the 10 mandatory points required under the Skilled worker Visa system.

 

As regards Brazil, they are more likely to speak Portuguese and may not have the necessary language skills to pass the test.

 

The butchers will need to take an English Language Test that assesses their reading, writing, speaking and listening abilities. They will need to take this test before coming to the UK. 

 

A list of test centres in the Philippines can be found  on the link below on lines 723 to 736

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1018794/List_of_approved_test_centres_outside_the_UK_from_September_2021_17.09.2021.ods

 

A list of test centres in Brazil can be found on the link below on lines 82 to 91

List_of_approved_test_centres_outside_the_UK_from_September_2021_17.09.2021.ods (live.com)

 

This will provide them with 10 points

 

This would mean that the 70 points required for a butcher from the Philippines or Brazil has been met and that they can apply for a Skilled Worker Visa. This visa lasts for 5 years.

 

The staff will need some sort of evidence that they are skilled butcher. This ideally should be a paper qualification.

 

If you wish to register as a sponsoring employer: Click Here

 

You will need to apply for the Worker licence: Click Here

A ‘Worker’ licence will let you sponsor people in different types of skilled employment. The skilled work can be for a short time, long-term or permanent depending on the worker’s visa.

 

Point A: The licence includes Skilled Worker - the role must meet the job suitability requirements Click Here and Skilled Workers includes Butchers and Poultry Processors

 

To check the Skilled Worker Visa: Eligible Occupations and Codes Click Here are available for the following Standard Occupation Code (SOC) roles:

 

Standard Occupation Code 5431 – Butchers – This includes the roles of Butcher, Butcher’s assistant, Butchery Manager, Master Butcher and Slaughterman.

 

Standard Occupation Code 5433 - Fishmongers and poultry dressers – This includes the roles of Butcher (Fish, poultry), Filleter (fish), Fish processor, Fishmonger and Poultry processor

 

If you need any assistance with this please contact tony.goodger@aims2001.co.uk

 

English Language Requirements for Skilled Workers

 

Apologies for asking you to contact your MPs again but if you are having difficulty in recruiting overseas staff it may well be that if we can secure a small change to the English Language test for them it could well enable members to access a greater pool of overseas labour.

 

Click here for a draft letter that we’d be grateful if you could email to your local MP asking that they speak with the Home Secretary about reducing the need for butchers and poultry processors from needing to be able to speak, read, write and listen (understand) English to a more achievable level of simply being able to speak and listen (understand) the language.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers Click Here

 

Updated guidance about face coverings – You should wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed areas where you come into contact with people you do not usually meet

 

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

 

Updated guidance on face coverings, who should be at work and protecting people who are at higher risk: Click Here - You should wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed areas where you come into contact with people you do not usually meet

 

And Finally…

 

AIMS Supplier Member, Roythornes Solicitors (www.roythorne.co.uk) have published their latest 1 – 2 – 3 interview, this time with Vee Gururajan.

 

Vee is a co-inventor/innovator and has worked in the R & D fresh produce industry for 16 years.  Vee Gururajan is Executive Board Director at Branston Limited, one of the largest retail potato suppliers in the UK. Vee is also Managing Director at B-hive Innovations Limited, an Agri-tech company created in 2017

 

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

22nd September

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions Click Here

 

Seasonal poultry workers Click Here

 

Before travel to England

 

Before you travel to England under this scheme you need to:

 

 

After arrival in England

 

Green list countries

 

Applies if you have only been in a green list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

 

  • You do not have to quarantine.

  • You must take a rapid lateral flow test on day 2 after your arrival.

 

Amber list countries

 

Applies if you have been in an amber list country, but not a red list country, in the 10 days before you arrive in England and are not fully vaccinated in the UK or under a recognised overseas/international programme:

 

You must self-isolate for your first 10 days in England. You will need to stay at the address you provided in the passenger locator form except for when you are at work, or travelling to and from work. When working at a named farm this means you must stay in the on-site farm accommodation.

 

If you are working at a processing site this means you must stay at the accommodation attached to the processing site or alternative accommodation and enter the address on your Passenger Locator Form.

 

If you will leave the accommodation attached to the processing site upon completion of work on the site and move to new accommodation you must include both addresses on your form.

 

You’ll need to follow advice for seasonal poultry workers coming to England to work on farms.

 

If you are in England for longer than 2 days, you need to take a mandatory workplace, community or home rapid lateral flow test on or before days 2, 5 and 8 after your arrival.

 

Fully UK/approved vaccinated – amber list –you do not need to self-isolate if you are fully vaccinated under either:

 

  • The UK vaccination programme

  • The UK vaccine programme overseas

  • An approved vaccination programme in Europe or the USA - not all are recognised in England

 

You only need to take one rapid lateral flow test on day 2 and provide your address on the Passenger Locator Form, following the guidance above.

 

Red list countries

 

Applies if you have been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

 

  • You need to quarantine in a managed hotel, including 2 COVID-19 PCR tests

 

Seasonal poultry workers with EU settled or pre-settled status

 

You should provide documentation that verifies your EU settled or pre-settled status when you arrive at the UK border, and show a letter or email from your employer confirming you will be employed as a seasonal poultry worker.

 

REMEMBER: 

 

From 4am Monday 4th October 2021, the rules for international travel to England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world. 

 

The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status.

 

To check the rules from 4th October: Click Here

 

CO2

 

Norman, Craig and Tony attended a round table of industry groups and the NFU yesterday afternoon to discuss the issues surround the shortage of CO2. 

 

During the meeting it was announced by the media that CF Industries: CO2 production deal agreed amid food shortage fears Click Here

The full details were confirmed in a Government Press Release late last night Government secures agreement to ensure CO2 supplies Click Here

However, the meeting agreed the following statement calling for Government support.

 

Urgent action is needed by Government to reinstate vital food grade carbon dioxide supplies by bringing UK fertiliser plants back on stream. 

 

It’s good to hear there may be agreement in principle that production may restart, but this restart must be meaningful and sustained. Users of carbon dioxide were given little to no warning that supplies were going to be cut off – an indication of market failure in a sector supporting our critical national infrastructure. Urgent clarity is needed on the detail, including timings and volume established of the agreement.

 

NFU and food businesses and representative organisations are urging ministers from across government, to provide this clarity. Carbon dioxide supplies are of critical importance of carbon in the food industry, which includes 

• Protecting animal welfare in processing 

• Avoiding significant animal welfare impacts on farm and a looming national cull of healthy animals while product shortages hit consumers

• Crop production of glasshouse fruit and vegetables with growers already mothballing production that should have been destined for the Christmas market 

 

Labour Crisis

 

Earlier in the day Tony attended a cross industry roundtable, again chaired by the NFU at which the short term labour crisis was discussed (there will be a further meeting to discuss a longer term approach to the market and labour at some point in the future).

 

The key decision from the meeting will be an open letter from the group, led by the NFU to the Prime Minister, Government Ministers and the media. This is due later today and will be included on tomorrow’s AIMS Update.

 

The main text that will be used in the letter is as follows:

 

The food and farming sector remains on a knife edge due to the unprecedented shortages of workers across the entire supply chain.  The industry came together in the summer to evidence these challenges, and the final report (Establishing the labour availability issues of the UK food and drink sector) showed that there are an estimated 500,000 unfilled vacancies across the industry. The situation is not improving, in fact images of empty supermarket shelves are becoming commonplace as labour shortages bite.  As we move towards Christmas, there is a substantial threat of food inflation directly impacting the poorest families.

 

That is why the entire UK food supply chain from farm supply to retail outlet are united in calling for an emergency COVID Recovery Visa to open up new recruitment opportunities as a matter of urgency.  Without it, more shelves will go empty and consumers will panic buy to try and get through the winter.  It is a travesty that this is happening in parallel with UK food producers disposing of perfectly edible food as it either cannot be picked, packed, processed or transported to the end customer.  Every day there are new examples of food waste across the industry, from chicken to pork, fruit and vegetables, and many other products.  The food is there, but it needs people to get it to the consumers.

 

Our industry report also highlights vital mid to long term solutions for accessing seasonal and permanent workers, and all remain equally important to ensure this situation does not arise again.  But the supply chain will be critically damaged beyond recovery if it cannot overcome the immediate crisis.  There have already been long term consequences as businesses have had to take the decision to reduce production indefinitely or cease trading altogether.  That is why we must have an urgent commitment from you to enable the industry to recruit from outside the UK over the next 12 months to get us through the winter and to help us save Christmas.

 

We continue to lobby Government on behalf of members and will of course keep you all updated with any progress made.

 

Office for the Internal Market opens for business Click Here

 

The Office for the Internal Market (OIM) is part of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). It has been tasked with supporting the effective operation of the UK internal market using its economic and technical expertise, following the UK’s departure from the European Union.

 

“The Office for the Internal Market will shine a light on how effectively companies are able to sell their products and services to people across the four nations, post-Brexit. Strong competition relies on effective trading, and customers rely on competition to get the best choice of products and services.

 

The OIM will listen to concerns and report to all Governments on the barriers faced by businesses. Its reporting and advice rely on hearing from those who are directly affected, which is why we need people to tell the OIM about any relevant trading issues that they encounter.”

 

To see the OIM’s dedicated website: Click Here

 

For further Guidance on the operation of the CMA's UK Internal Market functions: Click Here

 

Compulsory labelling indications for fresh and frozen beef Click Here

 

The Rural Payments Agency have published guidance for England and Wales for the Compulsory labelling indications for fresh and frozen beef Click Here

 

The guidance for Scotland was last published in June 2010. To read these: Click Here

 

For Northern Ireland: Click Here

 

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

 

The CIPD have published a couple of useful support pages on their website.

 

  • Annual leave, travel and quarantine FAQs Click Here

 

  • Top tips if considering redundancies after furlough Click Here

 

Cambrian Mountains Lamb Click Here

 

The UK GI Status for Cambrian Mountains Lamb has now been registered.

 

All Cambrian Mountains Lamb has to be slaughtered in approved abattoirs located within the designated area of the Cambrian Mountains and identified by a unique code to ensure traceability.

 

  • All lambs are slaughtered in accordance with Meat and Livestock Commission specifications, or equivalent.

 

  • All abattoirs maintain their own records to ensure traceability of each batch of Cambrian Mountains Lamb passing through the abattoir.

 

  • The abattoir provides each producer sending their lamb for slaughter with a unique vendor number to ensure traceability from “fork to farm”.

 

To read the full specification: Click Here

 

The Welsh Government have also issued a press release Cambrian Mountains Lamb awarded UK GI Status: Click Here

 

Members in Scotland

 

Public appointment: board of Quality Meat Scotland Click Here

 

The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, Mairi Gougeon MSP, today announced the appointment of Ian Bentley, Peter Brown, Adrian Ivory, Scott Jarron and Niall Jeffrey as Members of the Board of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister's statement – 21st September 2021 Click Here

 

The key points from the statement were that Scotland will be following England in terms of overseas travel and this on Covid Certification:

 

“The final issue I want to provide an update on is the Covid certification scheme. Further details of the scheme will be published later this week – however, I will provide some information now.

 

Everyone under 18 will be exempt from the requirement to provide proof of vaccination.

 

So too will those taking part in vaccine trials; the small number of individuals, and it is a small number, who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons; and those who work at, or perform in, a venue subject to certification.

 

The scheme will come into force at 5am on Friday 1 October.

 

And it will apply – as previously indicated – to nightclubs and similar venues; to live indoor unseated events of more than 500 people; to live outdoor unseated events of more than 4,000 people; and to any event of more than 10,000 people.

 

We have been working in recent days to finalise the definition of nightclubs and similar settings.

 

I can confirm that our intention is that certification will be required for any venue that meets all of the following conditions:

 

• It is open between midnight and 5am;

• It serves alcohol after midnight;

• It provides live or recorded music for dancing; and

• It has a designated space - which is actually in use - where dancing is permitted.

 

Let me stress that certification will be required only if all four of those factors apply.

 

Detailed draft guidance will be published ahead of the regulations setting out clearly what each sector needs to do.”

 

And Finally…

 

The Gov.UK Travel Advice page for the United States has been updated in line with Monday’s announcement: Click Here

 

Addition of information on the lifting of travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign citizens from November 2021: Click Here

 

And, Updated information on the new 6-pronged national COVID-19 action plan: Click Here

 

On 20 September 2021 the US Government announced it would lift travel restrictions starting in November for foreign citizens who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We are waiting for further details. British nationals planning to travel to the US from November 2021 onwards should wait for further information to be released by the US Government.

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

21st September EXTRA - Gas

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

You will have no doubt picked up the news over the past 3 or 4 days of the imminent risk that supermarket shelves will be devoid of meat soon – mainly due to issues in the availability of CO2 which as you will know, is used in the gas stunning/killing systems in some of the larger pig and poultry plants, as well as in MAP (modified atmosphere packaging or gas flushing).

 

We have been asked several times in to appear on the news shows on TV and radio but have declined on each occasion – the other trade bodies have this covered, and the larger CO2 users tend to be members of BMPA or BPC. We have been in touch with AIMS members who use CO2 to keep an eye on the situation.

 

We’re also aware of varying reports of pigs backing up on farms, various numbers have been quoted, but until there is a clear and accurate indication of the scale of THAT problem, we can’t see Government intervening yet.  

 

FSA have been approached by several processors to increase their slaughter days, which we would hope FSA will manage to cover, and we know that some processors are switching or preparing to switch to their contingency plans (moving to electric if they can). 

 

We are continuing to attend meetings on this and other related subjects on your behalf, and are still working hard to try and address the labour shortage issues, but please get in touch if you are affected by the CO2 shortage OR you are approached by the media about it.

 

In the meantime, one thing we can be sure of is that independent butchers and caterers/wholesalers won’t be showing empty shelves as our sector on the whole doesn’t use gas…   

 

AIMS Supplier Member – Consider Energy - Consider Energy have published their view of the market along with the two graphs below

 

The best word to describe this past few weeks is carnage, with yesterday seeing a severe price escalation after a fire broke out at the IFA Interconnector site in Kent; this fire means that the Interconnector will be offline until September 25th at least and will remain at 50% of capacity until March 2022. Markets have shot up on the back of severely weak fundamentals, which have been a constant source of concern for markets throughout the year, however this concern has now exploded into some slight hysteria with markets now at a fairly unsustainable level for both suppliers and customers alike. The fatality count at supplier level will be significant with two small domestic suppliers ceasing trading yesterday; and if things continue like this I dare say many businesses will fail also.

 

If you’d like to discuss the risk of the energy markets for your business please get in touch. Equally, if you are impacted or concerned about what happens if your supplier ceases trading, information can be found here or get in touch and we can guide you through the process.

 

Contact:  Adam Thompson

Phone: 01484 905251 / 07900 942682

Email: adam@considerenergy.co.uk

Web: www.considerenergy.co.uk

Twitter: @consider_energy

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

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

21st September 

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

UK gas market and prices Click Here

 

Statement on the UK gas market by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng during which he referenced the issue of CO2

 

As a result of high global gas prices, members and right honourable members will have read, two fertiliser plants shut down in Teesside and Cheshire last week. They suspended the production of CO2 and ammonia. A decision which has affected in the short-term our domestic supply of CO2, which is used in the food and drink, as well as the nuclear and health sectors.

 

Yesterday, I met Tony Will, the global chief executive of CF Industries. We discussed the pressures the business is facing and explored, quite thoroughly, possible ways to secure vital supplies.

 

Work is ongoing across departments in Whitehall, across government to ensure that those sectors impacted and affected by this announcement have appropriate contingency plans in place to ensure that there is indeed minimal disruption. To maintain our domestic supplies of CO2, we are in constant contact with relevant companies who produce and supply CO2 and we are monitoring the situation minute by minute.

 

We continue to monitor the situation and are attending a cross industry meeting chaired by the NFU later today. We have taken the decision not to make any public statement on the issue to the media.

 

Trevelyan: Break down digital trade barriers to help British businesses thrive Click Here

 

In new Secretary of State at DIT, Anne-Marie Trevelyan’s first big speech since coming to office she referenced

 

The UK must break down unfair or discriminatory digital trade barriers to help British businesses export their world-leading services

 

The Department for International Trade will today publish a five-point plan for establishing a free and fair digital trade landscape to help UK businesses and consumers thrive.

 

Under the five-point plan, DIT will:

 

1. Facilitate more open digital markets to ensure British consumers and businesses benefit from greater access to digital markets in other countries.

 

2. Advocate free and trusted cross-border data flows that will make it simpler and cheaper for businesses who use data to trade internationally while maintaining the UK’s high standards for personal data protection.

 

3. Champion consumer and business safeguards through enhanced consumer and intellectual property protections.

 

4. Promote the development and adoption of innovative digital trading systems such as digital customs processes, e-contracting and paperless trading, which can cut red tape and make trade easier, cheaper, faster, and more secure.

 

5. Establish global cooperation on digital trade via free trade agreements with international partners and using our G7 presidency and seat at the WTO to push for countries to become more open to digital trade.

 

REMINDER: Help to Grow Digital: Click Here

 

The Government’s free impartial advice on how technology can boost your business, delivered through a new online platform is due to launch this Autumn.

 

You can also claim a discount of up to 50% on the costs of approved software, worth up to £5,000. Vouchers are initially expected to be available for software that helps businesses:

 

  • Build customer relationships and increase sales

  • Make the most of selling online

  • Manage accounts and finances digitally

 

As soon as this become live we will inform members. However, you are required to Register your Interest. To do this: Click Here

 

Green claims code: making environmental claims Click Here

 

The purpose of this guidance Click Here is to help businesses understand and comply with their existing obligations under consumer protection law when making environmental claims.

 

The guidance sets out principles which are designed to help businesses comply with the law. It explains each of these principles. It gives examples of how each of them applies and more detailed case studies where multiple principles apply. 

 

The guidance also sets out the legal framework on which these principles are based.

 

The guidance covers both B2B and B2C channels.

 

Accompany this guidance an accompanying press release Greenwashing: CMA puts businesses on notice Click Here

 

The CMA is concerned about people being misled by environmental claims and also wants to ensure that businesses feel confident navigating the law in this area.

 

Following an initial bedding-in period, the CMA will carry out a full review of misleading green claims, both on and offline (e.g. claims made in store or on labelling), at the start of 2022.

 

DWP Partnerships

 

The DWP has updated it’s list of National partnership team contacts for England, Scotland and Wales Click Here

 

The contact’s (name and email address provided) are Group Partnership Manager responsible for employment programmes, jobseeker initiatives and benefit related matters.

 

We hope that you will find these contacts useful especially if you are having issues with Kickstart or with employee concerns relating to Universal Credit.

 

We also have a new contact at DWP for Kickstart

 

Angela Stabeler

Kickstart New Business Account Manager 

National New Business Team 

Department for Work and Pensions 

 

Telephone 07788 361851 

 

Email: Stabeler Angela JCP Kickstart New Business Team

 

The list of Temporary jobcentres Click Here has been updated to include sites in: Ayr, Edinburgh, Fareham, Halesowen, Hastings, Horsham, London Clapham, London Edmonton, London Peckham, Norwich, Nottingham. 

 

NOTE: The temporary jobcentre in Forest Hill, London, has now closed.

 

And Finally…X2

 

1. We found this very interesting article on the Harvard Business Review: Let’s Redefine “Productivity” for the Hybrid Era: To read it: Click Here

 

2. Managed restaurant and pub groups see strong delivery and takeaway sales in August

 

Drinks trade title Harpers is reporting delivery and takeaway sales of managed restaurant and pub groups were close to treble their pre-pandemic levels in August 2021, the latest edition of the CGA & Slerp Hospitality at Home Tracker has revealed.

 

The tracker showed that sales were 176% higher than in August 2019, and 70% higher than in August 2020, when restaurants and pubs were trading under Covid restrictions.

 

To read the article: 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

Click Here to return to Members Area

20th September 

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

New system for international travel Click Here

 

From 4am Wednesday 22nd September the following countries will move to the Amber List: Bangladesh, Egypt, Kenya, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Turkey 

 

For the details of the Red, amber, green lists: check the rules for travel to England from abroad Click Here

From 4am Monday 4 October 2021, the rules for international travel to England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world. The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status.

Travel from the rest of the world if you are fully vaccinated

From 4am Monday 4 October, if you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days:

  • Under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas

  • With a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan – mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) in this list is also recognised

  • Under a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in the US, Canada and Australia and have a proof of participation (digital or paper-based) from a public health body

You must:

  • Book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England

  • Complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

  • Take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England

You do not need to:

  • Take a pre-departure test

  • Take a day 8 COVID-19 test

  • Quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days after you arrive in England

You must be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body that includes, as a minimum:

  • Forename and surname(s)

  • Date of birth

  • Vaccine brand and manufacturer

  • Date of vaccination for every dose

  • Country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer

If your document from a public health body does not include all of these, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules. If not, you may be denied boarding.

If you are fully vaccinated in the US, will also need to prove that you are a resident of the US.

If you are fully vaccinated, but do not qualify under these fully vaccinated rules, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules.

Travel from the rest of the world if you are not fully vaccinated

From 4am Monday 4 October, you must follow these rules if you:

  • Do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules

  • Are partially vaccinated

  • Are not vaccinated

Before you travel to England you must:

  • Take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England

  • Book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in England

  • Complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

After you arrive in England you must:

  • Quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days

  • Take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8

You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

Travel from red countries

From 4am Monday 4 October, you must follow these rules if you are:

  • Fully vaccinated

  • Partially vaccinated

  • Not vaccinated

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish national or you have residence rights in the UK.

Before you travel to England, you must:

  • Take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England

  • Book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 tests

  • Complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

 

When you arrive in England, you must quarantine in a managed hotel, including 2 COVID-19 tests.

 

Resources for raising awareness about COVID Pass fraud Click Here

 

Criminals are using the NHS COVID Pass as a way to target the public by convincing them to hand over money, financial details and personal information. The NHS App is free. The NHS COVID Pass is free. The NHS will never ask for payment or any financial details.

 

The poster: Click Here can be used when communicating with employees to raise awareness of scams, to encourage staff to be alert and to guide people on how to get their free NHS COVID Pass.

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

 

REMINDER: Claims for August are now closed; if you need to make a change because you didn’t claim enough you can do this until Tuesday 28th ‌ ‌September.

 

You can continue to claim for September until Thursday 14th ‌ ‌October.

 

To check the latest guidance: Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Click Here

 

HMRC have also published “Preparing for the end of the CJRS – frequently asked questions”


What should I do when the scheme closes?

You’ll need to:

  • bring your employees back to work on their agreed terms and conditions

  • agree any changes to their terms and conditions with them

  • consider ending their employment.

When making decisions about how and when to end furlough arrangements, equality and discrimination laws will apply in the usual way. For more information search 'Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌.UK.

Can I claim CJRS for employees on notice periods?

You cannot claim CJRS grants for any days your employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period, including notice of retirement, resignation or redundancy. 

What support is available for my employees if I’m unable to bring them back to work?

There’s UK Government support available for your employees through the JobHelp website, offering a range of support, training and advice, to help people find their next opportunity. This includes the Kickstart scheme and other Plan for Jobs support measures, along with advice on learning new skills and finding who’s recruiting. Search GOV‌.UK for 'Plan for Jobs programmes' for more information.

Normal redundancy rules and protections apply to furloughed employees – search 'redundancy rules' on GOV‌‌.UK for more information.

What support is available to help my business grow after the CJRS has closed?

If you’re looking to grow your business, the UK Government Help to Grow scheme offers management and digital programmes to help you learn new skills and reach more customers. To register your interest, search 'Help to Grow' on GOV‌‌.UK.

If you’re considering taking on new employees, there’s a range of UK Government support available to help your business, including placements, apprenticeships and training opportunities. Search 'Plan for Jobs programmes for employers' on GOV‌‌.UK to find out how your business could benefit.

What if I’ve claimed too much in error?

If you’ve claimed too much CJRS grant and have not already repaid the overclaimed amount, you can repay as part of your next online claim without needing to call us. If you claimed too much but don’t plan to submit further claims, you can let us know and make a repayment online through our card payment service or by bank transfer – go to 'pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back' on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

You must tell us and repay the money by the latest of whichever date below applies:

  • 90 days from receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to

  • 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant.

If you don’t, you may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. Search 'interest rates for late and early payments' on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

What if I haven’t claimed enough? 

If you made a mistake in your claim that means you received too little money, you’ll need to amend your claim within 28‌‌ ‌calendar days after the month the claim relates to. The deadline to amend claims for August is Tuesday‌‌ ‌28‌‌ ‌September. To find out how, search 'get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌.UK.

 

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

 

REMINDER: The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, closes on Thursday 30th ‌ ‌September‌‌ 

 

You can continue to submit your claims until Friday 31st ‌ ‌December.

 

To Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19): 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

 

National Cyber Security Centre - Weekly Threat Report 17th September 2021 Click Here

 

The key article for members is the one on Microsoft Security Updates: Click Here

 

Export Update

 

The AHDB Horizon Newsletter – September 2021 has been published: Click Here

 

Among the articles in this month’s newsletter are:

  • Exploring the EU: Understanding consumer needs: Click Here

  • Trade with Canada

 

NOTE: There will be an AIMS Update LIVE on Exporting to the EU towards the end of October. Please keep an eye on your inboxes for date, time and content.

 

Members in Wales

 

COVID Pass for events and nightclubs announced Click Here

 

The requirement to show an NHS COVID Pass will come into force from Monday 11th October. It will mean all over-18s will need to have a NHS COVID Pass to enter:

  • Nightclubs

  • Indoor, non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts or conventions

  • Outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people

  • Any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance

 

People who are fully vaccinated in Wales can already download the NHS COVID Pass to securely show and share their vaccine status. It also allows people to show they have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.

 

And Finally…

 

Government considers case for welfare standards on menus: Click Here

 

The UK government is consulting on a new labelling scheme for animal welfare that could see caterers required to disclose welfare information on menus.

 

A call for evidence will consider how to define the welfare standards that would underpin a new labelling system and whether it should be mandatory or voluntary. 

 

It will also seek views on what a label might look like, what products would fall under its scope and how the scheme would be monitored and enforced.

 

To read the call for evidence and make a submission: 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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17th September 

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

Labour shortages in the food and farming sector – EFRA Inquiry

 

There have been reports of labour shortages affecting some businesses throughout the food and farming sector, for example:

 

• Farms have been unable to hire all the seasonal workers they need to harvest food (and pick other crops such as flowers);

 

• Businesses in the food and drink processing sector – the country’s largest manufacturing sector – have seen their output fall due to recruitment problems;

 

• Shortages of HGV drivers, who provide the vital linkages within the food supply chain;

 

• Some empty shelves at supermarkets & local stores and some menu items being unavailable at restaurants, which have had impacts for consumers.

 

The reasons are complex: Brexit following the end of the Transition Period on 31 December - including the introduction of the Government’s new immigration policy - and the covid-19 pandemic in particular are often cited, but are other factors also at play, and are the causes temporary or permanent?

 

This inquiry will explore what is causing labour shortages, and the impact on the food and farming sector both now and in the future.

 

It will also ask what other factors are affecting the food supply chain. This is likely to focus on the new post-Brexit trading relationship with the EU, including the latest impact of additional red tape and checks at the border since 1 January 2021 on businesses exporting food (and other “Sanitary and Phytosanitary”, or SPS, goods) to the EU. The inquiry will also consider the Government’s latest delay to introducing border controls and checks for SPS imports from the EU, including the effect on the competitiveness of British businesses.

 

To provide evidence to this inquiry: Click Here

 

You can submit evidence until Friday 8th October 2021

 

Government launches plans to capitalise on new Brexit freedoms Click Here

 

New plans to capitalise on the freedoms from Brexit so that our rules and regulations best serve the UK national interest have been announced by Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, Lord Frost.

 

In the coming weeks, Secretaries of State across Whitehall will set out bold strategies and proposals for keeping the UK at the forefront of innovation and technology, including on:

 

  • Artificial Intelligence to supercharge its place in the UK economy, to grow investment, support research and development, and boost the nation’s skills – setting the standards for other countries to follow.

 

  • Transport to unleash the UK’s potential as a world leader in future technologies like autonomous maritime vessels, self-driving cars and drones by modernising outdated EU vehicle standards.

 

  • Farming to reform the regulations around gene-edited organisms, which will enable more sustainable and efficient farming and help produce healthier and more nutritious food.

 

  • The Government also plans to establish a new Commission through which the public will be able to identify additional opportunities for cutting or reforming red tape and bureaucracy. Any individual will be able to submit proposals. The Commission will then consider these ideas and make recommendations for change to the Government - but only if they go in the direction of reducing or eliminating regulation.

 

To support this announcement a full list of Brexit opportunities: regulatory reforms has been published: Click Here

 

This includes the following: Digitalisation of Export Health Certificates, Imports, and Trade - Defra is continuing work to further digitise certification for imports and exports in order to bring benefits to businesses. 

 

Defra will announce further details in due course.

 

COVID-19 vaccination: booster dose resources Click Here

 

Full details of the booster programme and who is eligible for the booster have been published: Click Here

 

Exports support for farmers and the food and drink industry Click Here

 

Plans to help the UK’s farmers and food and drink businesses boost exports have been announced by Defra

 

The UK agri-food sector contributes around £20bn in exports each year, yet only 20% of companies sell their goods overseas. The exports initiative announced today will help farmers access the UK’s considerable export potential.

 

It includes:

 

• Appointing more dedicated ‘agri-food attaches’ to act as representatives on the ground to unlock key markets across the world. This will build on the excellent teams already working in our Embassies around the world

 

Establishing a Food and Drink Exports Council to work collaboratively to expand our food and drink exports strategy. We will engage closely with Devolved Administrations and others on the design and implementation of the Export Council

 

Strengthening our technical expertise as well as our farmers and producers’ understanding of export markets to ensure that food and drink exporters are able to benefit from market opportunities.

 

The exports initiative will launch later in the year.

 

We are currently speaking with AHDB about running an Export’s AIMS Update Live event during October. We know that with the pressure on labour at present that many members are struggling to find time to join these events so we will give plenty of notice about when it will be run.

 

Defra Food Resilience Industry Forum (FRIF)

 

  • During yesterday’s Defra Food Resilience Industry Forum (FRIF) the issue of ensuring that sites are well ventilated was again emphasised. 

 

The Easy Read version of the COVID-19: ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus has been updated: Click Here

 

  • The issue of vaccinations was also covered. It was stressed that the 5 million adults who have yet to be vaccinated need to come forward and be vaccinated as a means of protecting themselves, people they come into contact with and their work colleagues.

 

We are still hearing from members who have staff who have not been vaccinated. Whilst you are not currently allowed to insist on vaccination you may find the materials that are available from PHE Click Here of use, particularly the video which is available in many languages.

 

  • The issue of the labour shortage was discussed at length and a very real sense of frustration was palpable across the call. Our view is that the route to change lies with the Home Office and their position remains that the UK’s domestic labour force has to be prioritised.

 

The call again was for businesses to provide evidence of the issues they are facing. Our view is that evidence is continuously being provided and yet no progress is being made.

 

And Finally…

 

UK Ministers appoint new main board members to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

 

“As part of a commitment to modernising the main board, the new appointees will help to broaden the organisation’s skills base. Cereals levy payers Sarah Bell and Stephen Briggs, Beef and Lamb levy payer Colin Bateman and Dairy levy payer Lyndon Edwards began their three-year terms on 13 September 2021.

 

The organisation will also benefit from added legal and environmental expertise respectively with the addition to the main board of Dr Catherine MacKenzie, a lawyer with a background in agriculture and digital development and Stephen Briggs’ agroforestry expertise. Dr MacKenzie’s three-year term also started on 13 September 2021.”

 

To read the biographies of the new appointees: 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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16th September 

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

Cabinet Reshuffle and what it means for AIMS Members

 

The main move in the reshuffle that has implications for AIMS is that of Steve Barclay moving to the role of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office. This will now place him in charge of chairing the cross departmental group of Ministers looking at the labour supply shortage. As Mr Barclay was formally Chief Secretary to the Treasury and worked with Mr Sunak we hope that our correspondence to Mr Sunak in relation to labour shortages will be forwarded on.

 

We imagine that Anne-Marie Trevelyan’s move to DIT will very much be one of ‘business as usual’ simply taking the trade negotiations which we led by Liz Truss forward to their conclusion. 

 

It is of note that we have members in the constituency of the new Education Secretary as we did with his predecessor but hope that we can make better headway now with our view that there needs to be a dedicated Food Manufacturing and Processing T-Level to help encourage students post 16 to make the industry their career of choice.

 

Finally, we welcome continuity at Defra and look forward to continuing our working relationship with George Eustice, his Ministers and departmental officials.

 

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) Click Here

 

The guidance has been updated in line with the Autumn & Winter plan:

 

“To support businesses through the autumn and winter period, Working Safely guidance will continue to provide advice on sensible precautions employers can take to manage risk in their workplace.

 

Businesses still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business. The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks you identify.

 

Businesses should use Working Safely guidance to consider the risk within your premises and decide which mitigations are appropriate to adopt. In the long term, we expect that businesses will need to take fewer precautions to manage the risk of COVID-19. We will continue to keep our guidance under review and will remove advice once it’s safe to do so.”

 

As regards specific advice the following areas have all had their guidance updated with some minor updates to sections on face coverings Click Here and working from home, in line with the government's autumn and winter plan: Click Here

 

 

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

 

 

 

Quarantine and testing if you've been in an amber list country Click Here

 

Added content to make it clear that you cannot use NHS COVID-19 tests for your day 2 or day 8 travel tests. 

 

Added a new paragraph explaining that advice not to take PCR tests if you've had a positive test result in the last 90 days does not apply to travel tests.

 

Meat in a Net Zero World

 

With COP26 now just a few weeks away WRAP have published their progress report / update on Meat in a Net Zero World. 

 

Supporters of Meat in a Net Zero World, which include AIMS and several of our members,  are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect natural assets like forests and water resources, reduce their own operational food waste, and help to halve the exorbitant amount of meat purchases we throw away at home. These actions will contribute towards existing national and global targets including the Courtauld Commitment 2030 and the NFU’s target of zero emissions for UK farming by 2040.

 

This document includes:

 

  • An outline of action areas and key points of progress against these.

  • A commentary on progress and further action needed by the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock.

 

To read the report: Click Here

 

REMINDER: To check the statutory guidance from Defra for Food and drink waste hierarchy: deal with surplus and waste Click Here

 

Remote audit technology – Abattoirs Only

 

We have been working with the FSA to trial new tech (amongst other things) 

 

The FSA have been reviewing some remote audit technology that Tesco have implemented (Librestream Click Here is the supplier they use) which they say has been very successful for them and positively received by food businesses.

 

The FSA have been running some remote audits over the last 18 months, driven mainly by the pandemic, and the results have been fairly good despite the fact we have been working with existing tools (mainly email attachments of documents and photos). The new technology is essentially an app that allows a remote auditor to control a smartphone camera (held by an FBO operative) remotely and capture video, stills, audio and documentation – and store it all securely.

 

We are planning a pilot October to December and are trying to identify a number of plants, big and small, to be involved. 

 

The objectives are for the FSA to have an additional tool that would allow us to audit remotely (or partially remotely), particularly in plants with good compliance records, with a view to saving time and without losing any effectiveness. It would also allow the FSA in some cases to follow up on any issues, from audit or approval visits, without someone having to come out again.

 

We are looking for AIMS abattoir Members to be part of this trail. It is likely that should the trail be successful then further trials will held in cutting plants.

 

If you would like to take part please contact jason.aldiss@aims2001.co.uk and he’ll be able to take you through what’s involved and set up an initial meeting between you, the FSA and AIMS to get the wheels in motion

 

We believe that this is a great opportunity to trial this technology which we believe will be of benefit to members.

 

Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19) Click Here

 

This guidance is now available in Welsh: Click Here

 

Physical proof of status for EU citizens

 

The Devolved Administrations have written to the UK Government asking that EU citizens who have settled here in the UK under the EUSS are given the option of receiving physical proof of their settled or pre-settled status.

 

The Devolved Administrations believe that this safeguard is necessary to:

  • Help prevent discrimination

  • Enable EU citizens to prove their status to employers

  • Help vulnerable citizens prove their status more easily

 

To read a copy of their letter: Click Here

 

Should this change occur we will update members.

 

RPA fraud information Click Here

 

The text has been updated 

 

We will not send emails or text messages with links to websites asking you to confirm your personal details or payment information. We strongly advise anyone who receives such a request not to open the link, and delete the item.

 

As fraudsters may target farmers who receive subsidy payments, remember:

 

• never discuss your bank account details with someone you do not know

 

• we will not ask you to make a payment over the phone

 

• delete any emails or texts you do not believe are genuine, and do not open any links unless from our main email addresses which are:

 

ruralpayments@defra.gov.uk  

 

 

rpa@notifications.service.gov.uk

• be cautious about what information you share externally, particularly on social media

 

If you suspect an attempted fraud or feel you have been the subject of fraud, you can contact:

 

• RPA’s Fraud Referral Team on 0800 347 347 or FraudInConfidence@rpa.gov.uk

 

• Action Fraud (the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime) on 0300 123 2040

 

Thursday Laugh: Having hosted the AIMS Update Live on Cyber Security on Tuesday, Tony then suffered a Cyber attack yesterday causing his entire computer to crash. Fortunately his firewall / McAfee sorted out the issue which was malware.

 

And Finally…

 

Members in Derbyshire and Staffordshire – Following our recent blitz on contacting every Job Centre Plus in the country to remind them about the large number of vacancies across members the following office is keen to hear from members in Derbyshire & Staffordshire about vacancies which they will then advertise on their social media.

 

Please contact: 

 

Rebecca Hulme 

Social Media Officer 

Department for Work and Pensions 

Work and Health Directorate 

Staffordshire & Derbyshire District 

Kidsgrove Jobcentre Plus, 

The Avenue, 

Kidsgrove, 

Staffordshire,

ST7 1AH

 

Email: linc.socialmedia@dwp.gov.uk

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

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15th September SPECIAL - Cyber Security

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

Thank you to the members who attended yesterday’s webinar on Cyber Security

 

Please see below links to the products and guidance discussed in the presentation. 

  • Cyber Aware  – Cyber Aware is the government’s advice on how to stay secure online. It outlines six actions to take to improve your cyber security and offers a tailored plan for you or your business. 

  • NCSC Subscription Centre - The subscription centre provides the opportunity to receive various communications from the NCSC including Advisories, Weekly Threat Reports and the NCSC Newsletter

  • Small Business Guide – Explains how to improve your cyber security; affordable, actionable advice for organisations. 

  • Exercise in a Box - A free online tool which helps organisations find out how resilient they are to cyber-attacks and practise their response in a safe environment. Exercises include from 15-minute micro exercises, 1-3 hour discussion based exercises and a 3-4 hour simulation exercise. 

  • Response & Recovery Guide -Guidance that helps organisations prepare their response to and plan their recovery from a cyber incident. 

  • COVID -19 Guidance – This guidance includes home working, video conferencing and moving your organisation from physical to digital

  • Supply Chain Security  - The guidance will provide organisations with an improved awareness of supply chain security, as well as helping to raise the baseline level of competence in this regard, through the continued adoption of good practice. 

  • Early Warning - Early Warning helps organisations investigate cyber attacks on their network by notifying them of malicious activity that has been detected in information feeds.

  • Logging Made Easy – Logging Made Easy helps organisations to install a basic logging capability on their IT estate enabling routine end-to-end monitoring of Windows systems.

  • Cyber Essentials – Cyber Essentials government backed certification scheme helps you to guard against the most common cyber threats and demonstrate your commitment to cyber security.  As mentioned a lot of government and some private contracts are now requesting Cyber Certification as part of their tender process. https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberessentials/overview

We have recently launched the Cyber Essentials Readiness Tool - The Cyber Essentials Readiness Tool is a free, online resource that guides organisations through a series of questions related to the Cyber Essentials criteria to help prepare them for certification.
The tool asks questions about an organisation’s use of hardware, software, and boundary devices such as firewalls, as well as use of passwords and protections against malware and provides clear, non-technical advice for the user. Upon completion of the tool the user receives a tailored action plan that outlines the steps they need to take to achieve Cyber Essentials certification. This tool, developed by IASME on behalf of the NCSC – a part of GCHQ -  was launched at the NCSC’s flagship conference CYBERUK 2021.

We have also released three Threat videos. They can be accessed via the links below:

 

Roseanne from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)  to answer any questions you may have. The email address is suppliers@ncsc.gov.uk

 

DON’T FORGET: If you have an incident visit the NCSC Website www.ncsc.gov.uk and click ‘Report an Incident’ (Top right of the screen). Then follow the on-screen instructions.

 

Members should take some time to look at the NCSC website: Click Here and specifically the following areas:

 

 

 

They also have an Advice and Guidance Section: Click Here

 

AIMS have also signed up to the NCSC Cyber Threat Alerts and will monitor and share appropriate alerts with members.

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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15th September

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

Prime Minister sets out autumn and winter Covid plan Click Here

 

The key points were noted were as follows:

 

“Vaccines will continue to be our first line of defence. All those who were vaccinated during Phase 1 of the vaccine programme (priority groups 1 to 9) will be offered booster jabs from this month – to boost immunity amongst the most vulnerable groups during winter.

 

Lateral flow tests will also remain free of charge but at a later stage, as our response to the virus changes, this will end and individuals and businesses will be expected to bear the cost. The government will engage widely on this before any changes are made.

 

The legal obligation to self-isolate for those who have tested positive and their unvaccinated contacts will continue, and the financial support payment for those self-isolating on certain benefits will continue in its current format until the end of March.

 

The government could also consider asking people to work from home again if necessary, but a final decision on this would be made at the time, dependent on the latest data – recognising the extra disruption this causes to individuals and businesses.

 

So as the public would expect, there will be a range of ‘Plan B’ measures kept under review to help control transmission of the virus while minimising economic and social damage.

 

Plan B would include:

 

• Introducing mandatory vaccine only Covid status certification in certain, riskier settings.

 

• Legally mandating face coverings in certain settings, such as public transport and shops.

 

• Communicating clearly and urgently to the public if the risk level increases.

 

The government could also consider asking people to work from home again if necessary, but a final decision on this would be made at the time, dependent on the latest data – recognising the extra disruption this causes to individuals and businesses.”

 

To read the Prime Minister’s statement: Click Here

 

COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021

 

This document Click Here outlines the government’s plans for autumn and winter 2021 for England. It includes the Government’s “Plan A” - a comprehensive approach designed to steer the country through autumn and winter 2021/22. 

 

It also outlines a Plan B which would only be enacted if the data suggests further measures are necessary to protect the NHS

 

Government sets out pragmatic new timetable for introducing border controls Click Here

 

Businesses have faced a range of challenges over recent months as they recover from the global pandemic which has impacted supply chains across Europe. 

 

This is being felt particularly by the agri-food sector, where new requirements on importing products of animal origin were due to be introduced from next month. Rather than introduce these controls at this time, the government has listened to those who have called for a new approach to give businesses more time to adjust.

 

Full customs declarations and controls will be introduced on 1 January 2022 as previously announced, although safety and security declarations will now not be required until 1 July 2022.

 

Under the revised timetable:

 

  • The requirements for pre-notification of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 January 2022.

 

  • The new requirements for Export Health Certificates, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.

 

  • Phytosanitary Certificates and physical checks on SPS goods at Border Control Posts, due to be introduced on 1 January 2022, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.

 

  • Safety and Security declarations on imports will be required as of 1 July 2022 as opposed to 1 January 2022. Full customs declarations and controls will be introduced on 1 January 2022 as previously announced.

 

The full, revised details, are set out in an updated version of The Border Operating Model Click Here

 

Invitation to provide feedback to help improve the Movement Assistance Scheme 

 

Business Engagement Team (Northern Ireland Directorate) at Defra are inviting traders to provide their feedback on the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS) Click Here so that they can see how to improve their support to traders who are moving agri-food goods from GB to NI. 

 

An online survey has now been launched today providing a chance for you to share your thoughts on the scheme.  

 

Background on the Scheme

 

MAS was launched in December 2020 to support traders and certifiers moving agri-food goods from GB to NI. As well as financial support, MAS includes a dedicated helpline (0330 0416 580) for general enquiries. 

 

Defra are currently reviewing performance of the Scheme and would appreciate your feedback to help us make improvements. 

 

How to Complete the Survey


The Defra team are asking you to complete this short survey online to help them make improvements to MAS: Click Here

 

It takes less than 10 minutes. 

 

Please complete the survey before Monday 27th September. 

 

Useful Resources


Full details of the financial support and assistance offered through MAS, along with information on how to move goods from GB to NI, are available at the following gov.uk websites:

 

 

  • Guidance on moving High Risk Food and Feed of Non-Animal origin: Click Here

 

  • Official Certificates and guidance notes: Click Here

 

‘A bright future for the profession’: Address to the Association of Meat Inspectors

 

To read a transcript of FSA’s CEO, Emily Miles, speech at the recent Association of Meat Inspectors’ Annual Conference: Click Here

 

We found the following of interest: 

 

1. “Throughout the last 18 months the importance of the small abattoir network has perhaps been underlined more than ever before, with the pandemic driving up local demand. We have been working closely with small abattoirs, Defra and other government departments, to look at what we can do within the existing legislative framework, and in the Future Delivery Model, to support these businesses.

 

We have begun a pilot across nine small abattoirs looking at simplified HACCP systems and paperwork. We are also in the process of assessing a new mobile abattoir for approval, with a second site under consideration. Lots of work has gone into supporting this project and I am extremely grateful to all those involved.”

 

2. “For our part, the FSA is always looking at ways we can build on those standards. On the animal welfare side, the issue of halal slaughter and stunning is an area, for example, where we are endeavouring to improve regulation with the development of the Demonstration of Life Protocol. 

 

The protocol has been developed by an industry and multi-agency working group and aims to encourage the use of Halal-compatible stunned slaughter for sheep and goats. It has the potential to reduce the number of animals that are subject to slaughter without prior stunning.

 

The date of the first trial of the protocol is imminent and will be overseen by FSA Veterinary Leaders who have undergone specific training for the protocol application.”

 

And Finally…

 

AHDB's £3.5m We Eat Balanced campaign returns Click Here

 

“Throughout September and the first half of October, farmers are highlighting the benefits of beef, pork, lamb and milk, which contain vitamin B12, an essential nutrient not naturally present in foods of plant origin.

 

They will also be sharing the world-class food and farming standards of UK meat and dairy production, which is some of the most sustainable in the world.

And with ongoing trade negotiations raising a wider debate around food import standards in the run up to COP 26, the campaign will share the story of farming in Britain in the form of short videos to cut through the noise on social media.”

 

Following the recent AHDB Reputation Group Meeting and presentation on the We Eat Balanced campaign, please find a Sharepoint folder: Click Here with the assets for your social media use.  

 

Click here for an overview on how to get involved.  

 

REMINDER: To remain up to date with AHDB news, please ensure you are on their CRM list by completing the short form 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 

Click Here to return to Members Area

14th September

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

REMINDER TODAY: AIMS Update Live – Tuesday 14th September 2021 – 2pm Cyber Security

 

Following on from our recent update to members we have arranged an AIMS Update Live event with a Cyber Security Expert from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)

 

As the NCSC is part of GCHQ, the presenter will not be showing her face and will simply use the name ‘Roseanne’.

 

She will cover all aspects of cyber security and ransom wear as well as taking members through tools and training which the NCSC offer to businesses.

 

Please feel free to share this invitation with your IT lead or IT contractor where you do not have an in-house presence.


Join on your computer or mobile app
Click here to join the meeting

 

Check if a text message you've received from HMRC is genuine Click Here is now available in Welsh: Click Here

 

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

 

The following languages have been added or updated to reflect the latest step 4 guidance: - 

 

ArabicClick Here

BengaliClick Here

FarsiClick Here

GujaratiClick Here

HindiClick Here

PolishClick Here

Punjabi GurmukhiClick Here

Punjabi Shahmukhi Click Here

SlovakClick Here

SomaliClick Here

Urdu  - Click Here

WelshClick Here

FrenchClick Here

PortugueseClick Here

TamilClick Here

 

Plan for Jobs

 

Yesterday saw the publication of the Plan for Jobs Progress Update: Click Here

 

Within the document (Page 29) it says:

 

“Tackling sector barriers and staff shortages The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic did not hit all sectors equally, and the opportunities for recovery will also not be uniform. Some sectors saw a surge in demand for staff over the summer following stage four of the COVID-19 roadmap and some parts of the economy are finding it difficult to fill vacancies. 

 

Many of these issues in filling jobs are short term frictions. Nonetheless, the government is taking action to identify and address labour market challenges in high demand and growing sectors…”

 

Regrettably this doesn’t mention the food industry but does say:

 

“The Prime Minister has created a new Cabinet Committee to drive action to alleviate problems with logistics and supply chains. The committee will be chaired by Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. 

 

The government will also launch an industry taskforce to inform the response to labour market and supply chain challenges. 

 

The official-led group will bring together major employers, retailers and hauliers to provide industry expertise and insight to ensure government has advance sight of labour market or supply chain challenges ahead of time. Where relevant it will serve as an advisory forum to test business or government led operational solutions to these challenges.”

 

As those who read yesterday’ AIMS Update will recall, we have already written to Mr Sunak in relation to the labour supply chain challenges that many of you are facing.

 

Page 30 of the report also references the staff shortages in the transport and logistics industry.

 

There is much in the document and it is our view that it is essential that the meat & poultry processing sector is not left behind. Accordingly we will prepare a short paper for Mr Sunak detailing what can be further done immediately and within the Government’s next phase for the Plan for Jobs. This will be discussed at next week’s AIMS board meeting.

 

Apprenticeships 

 

The Guidance on Apprenticeships funding has been consolidated into a single webpage: Click Here

 

The Guidance on Finding an apprenticeship, internship or traineeship plus guidance for employers on offering training opportunities has been consolidated into a single webpage: Click Here

 

Transferring your apprenticeship levy to another business Click Here

 

The Government has published information for large employers about transferring unused apprenticeship levy funds to another business to pay for their apprenticeship training and assessment.

 

Kickstart Scheme

 

Whilst we know that several members have engaged with the Kickstart Scheme to a leer or greater extent and some have found staff whilst others have been left slightly frustrated, several updates were published yesterday in relation to the scheme. These are not updated, but the first time they have been published. They are as follows:

 

Kickstart Scheme for employers Click Here

 

Kickstart Scheme for gateways Click Here

 

How the Kickstart Scheme works Click Here

 

Apply online for a Kickstart Scheme grant Click Here

 

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant through a Kickstart gateway Click Here

 

Sign in to manage your Kickstart Scheme vacancies Click Here

 

Getting young people into the Kickstart Scheme jobs Click Here

 

Manage your Kickstart Scheme funding Click Here

 

The Aims contact at DWP for Kickstart is

 

Katie Goodwin 

Kickstart New Business Lead Manager 

Department for Work and Pensions 

Jobcentre Directorate 

 

Phone: 07765744325

Email: katie.goodwin@dwp.gov.uk

 

New labelling to fly the flag for our farmers and give shoppers better information Click Here

 

Outside the EU, new food labelling could empower consumers to support British farmers and improve animal welfare.

 

“Now we have left the EU consumers will be able to have clearer information on labels so they can make more informed choices about the food they eat. This could help them to better identify and support high welfare standards or more easily choose to buy products from British farmers and producers.

 

To ensure the public can shape this potential new system so it is simple, cost-effective for businesses and supports the environment, the Government is launching a new Call for Evidence to seek their views. By doing so this work will gather information on the potential scope, regulation, format, and enforcement of a new labelling scheme, as well as the actual welfare standards that might underpin it, building on the existing voluntary assurance schemes in the UK.” George Eustice MP

 

The labelling for animal welfare Call for Evidence will be open for 12 weeks. All evidence will be used to inform any future policy proposals on labelling for animal welfare, and will also feed into a wider review of food labelling to inform the UK Government’s Food Strategy White Paper.

 

To make a submission: Click Here

 

UK to spearhead Europe-wide initiative to reduce sugar and calorie intake in food Click Here

 

The UK has agreed to use its world-leading expertise in domestic sugar and calorie reduction to support its European neighbours. Work will take place with the food and drink industry to make their products healthier by reducing sugar content in products high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS), helping to tackle global rates of obesity.

 

In a global market where food is increasingly supplied by the same international companies, collective action on reducing sugar and calories will galvanise the food industry to take greater and faster action. The network’s member states will share learning and technical expertise to encourage manufacturers to reformulate products by cutting the amount of sugar, and therefore calories, in food and drinks to ensure they are healthier.

 

And Finally…

 

Red meat from the UK showcased in China 

 

Valuable export opportunities for the UK’s red meat sector will be explored at the 19th annual China International Meat Industry Exhibition (CIMIE) this week.

 

Held in Qingdao Cosmopolitan Exposition, from September 15 to 17, CIMIE is the most professional meat industry show in China – attracting more than 1,000 exhibitors as well as 300,000 visitors from all over the world.

 

AHDB will have a stand at this year’s event, however due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions, the stand will be managed by AHDB’s China-based representative Holly Chen who has supported AHDB on the ground in China for many years. Working closely with UK exporters’ locally based teams on the AHDB British meat stand, will ensure high visibility for UK red meat exports.

 

The aim is to target importers and processors to build on the impressive export figures for pork from the UK and support the new market access for UK beef.

 

According to latest data from HMRC, in the first six months of 2021, 83,000 tonnes of pork was shipped to China – valued at nearly £150 million. 

 

AHDB Head of Asia Pacific Jonathan Eckley said: “China is a hugely important market for our pork exporters and CIMIE provides an opportunity to establish and maintain relationships with key importers and processors with the ultimate goal in adding value to the UK meat sectors.

 

“During an incredibly challenging year for exports, it’s imperative that we not only identify new markets in Asia but continue to build on the opportunities in existing markets to ensure our levy-payers benefit from the exciting prospects they present.”

 

To discuss export opportunities to the Asia Pacific region contact:

 

Jonathan Eckley 

Head of Asia Pacific Exports 
T: 024 7647 8859  
M: 07788916179

Jonathan.ackley@ahdb.org.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

13th September

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

Prime Minister to set out next steps in Covid response Click Here

 

The Prime Minister will next week set out the government’s autumn and winter plan for managing Covid.

 

The Prime Minister is also expected to repeal powers in England that are no longer necessary from the Coronavirus Act, as part of the government’s plan for managing Covid over the autumn and winter.

 

These include:

 

  • Powers to close-down sectors of the economy, such as business premises, or apply restrictions to events and gatherings.

 

  • Powers that disrupt education, enabling temporary closure or restricting access to schools, colleges, and childcare.

 

  • Powers that extend time limits for urgent warrants. Powers to detain infectious people.

 

Legal requirements will remain for someone to isolate if they test positive, to protect the most vulnerable from infection and to control the spread of variants.

 

REMINDER: AIMS Update Live – Tuesday 14th September 2021 – 2pm Cyber Security

 

Following on from our recent update to members we have arranged an AIMS Update Live event with a Cyber Security Expert from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)

 

As the NCSC is part of GCHQ, the presenter will not be showing her face and will simply use the name ‘Roseanne’.

 

She will cover all aspects of cyber security and ransom wear as well as taking members through tools and training which the NCSC offer to businesses.

 

Please feel free to share this invitation with your IT lead or IT contractor where you do not have an in-house presence.


Join on your computer or mobile app
Click here to join the meeting

 

Click here for a copy of the NCSC Weekly Threat Report for the 10th September 2021. 

 

We draw your attention to the 2nd article on Ransomware. This is one of the topics which will be discussed during the AISM Update Live event.

 

Meat products: model health certificates Click Here

 

Updated model health certificates:

 

 

REMINDER – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

 

If you're bringing back your employees part time, you can claim furlough flexibly for them under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), part of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs.

You have until 11.‌‌59pm this coming Tuesday‌‌ ‌14‌‌ ‌September to claim for Aug‌‌ust.

You can continue to claim for September until the 14 ‌October.

Mental health in the workplace Click Here

 

Small Business Minister Paul Scully has written an open letter to businesses about the resources available to help promote positive mental health in the workplace. These are:

 

For those organisations that do not have their own resources, we would encourage you to promote some of the existing resources available, such as those being signposted through GOV.UK. These include:

 

  • Mind, the mental health charity, have developed the Mental Health at Work website - this hosts over 400 resources to inform and advise employers on managing mental health in the workplace: Click Here

 

  • Mental Health at Work includes a toolkit with advice and resources especially for small businesses: Click Here

 

  • Businesses and individuals can also receive free and impartial advice about issues relating to money or debt, from the Money Advice Service: Click Here

 

In response to these challenges, you may have seen that the government has recently published our COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing Recovery Action Plan: Click Here

 

“This sets out our ambitious, cross-government approach to promoting positive mental health and supporting people living with mental illness to recover and live well.”

 

Labour Shortages – (Please also see the And Finally section at the bottom of this update for a processor’s insight)

 

Driver testing changes Click Here

 

“…we will make it quicker to get a licence to drive an articulated vehicle, without first having to get a licence for a smaller vehicle. This would make around 20,000 more HGV driving tests available every year and mean drivers can gain their licence and enter the industry more quickly - without reducing the rigour of the test.”

 

Within the statement we noted the following:

 

A new cross-government ministerial group has been set up to monitor labour supply chains, identify pinch points and consider necessary government action. 

 

Chaired by CDL and meeting on a weekly basis, the group includes ministers from numerous government departments including DfT, DfE, Home Office, BEIS and DEFRA to make sure all angles are being considered.

 

We will be in contact with Mr Sunak to re-state the labour supply issues members are facing and our suggested action and ask that he feeds this directly to Mr Gove for consideration by this group.

 

NOTE: Click here for a draft letter which you may wish to adapt for your business and send to your MP. We suggest that this is done today as the cross ministerial meeting is due in the next day or so.

 

Get your business ready for the Plastic Packaging Tax Click Here

 

The new Plastic Packaging Tax will take effect from 1st April 2022 and will encourage the use of recycled rather than new plastic within plastic packaging.

 

  • Get your business ready for the Plastic Packaging Tax Click Here

 

 

Members in Scotland

 

Plan to make eating out healthier Click Here

 

Labelling on menus to show how many calories are in food is a key part of a new plan to make it easier for people to make healthier choices when eating out.

 

Ahead of a public consultation, the Out of Home Action Plan Click Here outlines steps to work closely with the food industry to help tackle obesity by providing healthier food and drink choices for people. It includes proposals for a code of practice for healthier children’s menus and calorie labelling on menus in cafes, restaurants and takeaways.

 

Public Health Scotland (PHS) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) will develop a new Eating Out, Eating Well Framework, engaging with stakeholders, including industry and local authorities. This voluntary framework for Out of Home (OoH) food outlets will:

 

  • Help outlets provide healthier foods to support achievement of Scottish Dietary Goals

 

  • Include, among other things, calorie labelling and a Code of Practice for Children’s Menus (COP)

 

The Out of Home action Plan will look at the following areas:

 

  • Legislation to bring forward mandatory calorie labelling

 

  • Voluntary standard for full nutrition information

 

  • Calorie reduction

 

  • Children’s menus

 

  • Improving food in communities

 

  • The public sector:

• PHS and FSS will develop a new Eating Out, Eating Well Framework, engaging with stakeholders, including industry and local authorities

• Scottish Government will explore how best to secure maximum take-up across the public sector

 

The Ministerial Working Group on Food will aim to ensure a coherent policy approach is taken on all aspect of food policy, including in achieving the Scottish Dietary Goals.

 

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

 

And Finally…

 

Last week we attended the CBI@10 webinar, Unpacking labour market shortages Click Here

 

Among the speakers was Andrew Brodie,  People and Communications Director, Avara Foods. The key points from his presentation were as follows.

 

  • Usually employ just over 7,000 people but currently have 800 vacancies which is heavily impacting on operational capabilities in factories and as a result - customers.

 

  • Also seeing pinch points in key skills across industry and struggling with additional uplifts in resource they usually need for seasonal BBQ lines as well as turkeys into Christmas.

 

  • 'Canary in the mine' as they are impacted first in the supply chain.

 

  • The speed of the shortages has caught us by surprise - fine in February and March but then, around Easter, saw a trend of European colleagues returning home and then found it difficult to replace given immigration restrictions and local labour supply.

 

  • People are leaving labour market – so the pool is shrinking.

 

  • Difficulty given they have big operations in rural settings – which they can't move. Therefore, not as simple as 'moving to where the unemployment is' – this is a long-term structural change we need to get our heads round.

 

  • Back in the summer Avara Food tried attraction and retention bonuses, put on more transport but with limited success.

 

  • Looking at growth investment and innovation in tech but this takes a long time – but do have a business plan to deliver it.

 

  • Have been really clear to government - if gov want higher skilled higher tech economy it takes time, short term we need gov to allow us to utilise tools they've already put in place e.g., butchers and other primary workers on SOL, meat sector on existing schemes for horticulture, skills development via a more flexible apprenticeship levy and more representation in lifetime skills list.

 

  • Key takeaways: this will not be over by Christmas and will likely also wash through into those in higher skills and pay. What you've done to recruit and retain staff for last 5 years won't work for next 5 years.

 

To see a full recording of the webinar (45 minutes): 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

Click Here to return to Members Area

10th September

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

Vaccination

 

We have heard from several members about issues in relation to vaccination and staff members either not being vaccinated through choice or because they are not registered with a GP.

 

For this reason we felt that it is worthwhile giving members a quick update on vaccinations.

 

Find a Walk in Coronavirus vaccination site Click Here provides the following advice

 

  • If you live in England and are aged 16 or over, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine from a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site without an appointment.

 

  • You do not need to be registered with a GP or bring any ID. It might help to bring your NHS number, if you know it.

 

  • If you've already had your 1st dose, you need to wait 8 weeks before having your 2nd dose.

 

I have put your post code into the walk in centre finder and have come up with the following locations: Click Here

 

Once you have entered your postcode you will get a list of nearby walk-in vaccination sites. We advise that you click each site as it will give details about where it is, when it is next open and the vaccines they have available. 

 

Try to go with sites with Pfizer as this is a single does vaccination.

 

If you have staff who have declined to be vaccinated through choice may we recommend that you look at ACAS’s site Getting the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for work Click Here

 

This provides useful advice on:

  • If someone does not want the vaccine

  • If an employer feels staff should be vaccinated

  • Resolving an issue about getting the vaccine

 

Please remember, you cannot force a staff member to be vaccinated nor discriminate against them for not being vaccinated.

 

Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19) Click Here (for Welsh Translation: Click Here)

 

The guidance has been updated to confirm that employers can only claim for employees who were off work on or before 30th September 2021

 

How to register for export health certificate (EHC) online Click Here

 

New guidance on how to cancel and replace an export health certificate has been published: Click Here

 

Cancel an EHC

 

See If you need to make changes to an application: Click Here

 

Your certifier can apply for an EHC to be cancelled and replaced using EHC Online.

 

They can only apply to replace EHCs that:

  • Have been certified

  • Are for exports that have left the UK

 

APHA does not automatically replace EHCs, and will always try and find an alternative solution.

 

If you cannot apply to replace an EHC, apply for a new one using EHC Online and contact APHA to ask for the original EHC to be cancelled.

 

Contact APHA if you need help with cancelling and replacing EHCs on 03000 200 301 or exports@apha.gov.uk

 

Replacing an EU EHC

 

EU law states that you can only replace an EU EHC if:

  • APHA have made an administrative error

  • The original EHC has been damaged or lost

 

You cannot change any information about your export in the replacement EHC.

 

If the BCP finds errors in your EHC when your export enters the EU, it may be rejected. Your export could be:

  • Held until a replacement EHC is issued (if this can be done)

  • Returned

  • Destroyed

 

The databases for Find a professional to certify export health certificates Click Here have also been updated.

 

For England: Click Here

 

For Scotland: Click Here

 

For Wales: Click Here

 

News from HMRC

If your employees have more than one workplace or receive travel expenses our live webinars will help you deal with them correctly in your payroll.

Expenses and benefits for employers – if your employees have more than one workplace

This webinar looks at permanent and temporary workplaces, depots, business journeys, and homeworking.

Register here

Expenses and benefits for employers – employee travel

Find out about travel and subsistence payments to employees as well as mileage payments if they’re using their own vehicle.

Register here

You can ask questions during all HMRC live webinars using the on-screen text box.

End of temporary insolvency measures Click Here

 

Temporary insolvency restrictions protections are being lifted and new targeted measures to support small business and commercial tenants introduced during the pandemic will be phased out from 1stOctober.

 

New measures will be brought in to help smaller companies get back on their feet to give them more time to trade their way back to financial health before creditors can take action to wind them up. This will particularly benefit high streets, and the hospitality and leisure sectors, which were hit hardest during the pandemic.

 

The new legislation will:

 

  • Protect businesses from creditors insisting on repayment of relatively small debts by temporarily raising the current debt threshold for a winding up petition to £10,000 or more.

 

  • Require creditors to seek proposals for payment from a debtor business, giving them 21 days for a response before they can proceed with winding up action.

 

These measures will be in force until 31st March 2022.

 

How to take on an apprentice Click Here

 

The 'Commitment statement' section has been updated to include information about making sure the apprentice has confirmed their apprenticeship details.

 

Commitment statement

 

You must sign a commitment statement with your apprentice and training provider.

 

This sets out how you, your training provider and the apprentice will support the successful achievement of the apprenticeship, including through experience gained on the job.

 

You should make sure that the person in your organisation that is managing the apprentice on a day-to-day basis is aware of the commitments that have been made.

 

The apprentice will only get their apprenticeship certificate after they have passed the assessments at the end of their study. This demonstrates they are occupationally competent.

 

You can write your own or use the apprenticeship commitment statement template: Click Here

 

It must include:

  • The planned content and schedule for training

  • What is expected and offered by the employer, the training provider and the apprentice

  • How to resolve queries or complaints

 

You should also make sure that your apprentices have confirmed their apprenticeship details on the My apprenticeship service.

 

Members in Scotland

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister's statement – 8th September 2021 Click Here

 

The key points we picked up from the statement were as follows:

“The levels of infection across the country - albeit that we may be seeing some potential and very welcome signs of stabilisation now - remain far too high.

 

So that’s why we must continue to monitor the situation very closely and be prepared - as any responsible government must be - to take any targeted and proportionate action that we consider necessary to keep the country as safe as possible.

 

We need everyone to continue to stick to the basic mitigations that we know are effective in helping to slow down transmission.

 

These of course include the wearing of face coverings, stringent hygiene, good ventilation and support for continued home working wherever possible.

 

And I am, once again, very grateful to everyone – including businesses - for everything that is being done to follow and promote these measures.

 

This is making a difference - and, while we can’t rule anything out completely, it is also reducing the likelihood of restrictions having to be re-introduced.

 

Parliament of course will debate and vote (Thursday 9th September) on the principle of a limited, targeted and proportionate system of certification as an alternative to the risk of further periods of closure for higher risk settings.

 

In the Scottish Government’s view, COVID certification is a reasonable response to a very difficult situation, and a much more proportionate response than any of the likely alternatives.

 

Fundamentally, we believe that certification can help us reduce the overall harms caused by the pandemic. It will not eradicate transmission completely but it will help to reduce it in some higher risk settings, and it will maximise protection against serious illness.”

 

Vaccine certification plans approved by Scottish Parliament Click Here

 

The Scottish Parliament has approved the use of Coronavirus vaccination certificates to enter some events and higher risk venues.

 

MSPs voted in favour of the measure, which will come into effect on Friday 1st October, aimed at reducing risk while maximising our ability to keep open certain settings and events where transmission is a higher risk and encouraging uptake of the vaccine.

 

From Thursday 30th September, people will be able to use the NHS Scotland Covid Status App  which also has a QR code, to access venues where certification is required. From this date the current downloadable PDF function will be switched off.

 

Anyone unable or unwilling to use the App can request a secure uneditable paper record of vaccination, with enhanced security features such as thermodynamic ink to prevent forgery.

 

 

The verifier app will be called ‘NHS Scotland Covid Check’.

Proof of vaccination will be required to enter:

 

  • Nightclubs

  • Adult entertainment venues

  • Unseated indoor live events, with more than 500 people in the audience

  • Unseated outdoor live events, with more than 4,000 people in the audience

  • Any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance

 

And Finally…Don’t Forget

The next  Collingwood Legal “Employment Law Update” update will be held on Thursday 16th September 2021 from 10:00 to 11:00.

 

The session aims to update you on:

  • Key recent case law developments

  • Statutory developments on the horizon or pending consultation

  • COVID-19 employment law developments, including the return to the office, isolating employees and mandatory vaccination.

  • Update on an employer’s right to work checks and immigration status of employees.

 

The event is free to attend.

 

To register for a place: Click Here

 

The AIMS lead at Collingwood Legal is Jane Sinnamon. Her contact details are: 

Direct Dial: 0191 282 2884


Mobile: 07788586707


Email: jane.sinnamon@collingwoodlegal.com

 

Please also take time to visit the Collingwood Legal Website: www.collingwoodlegal.com

 

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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9th September

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

Export or move food, drink and agricultural products Click Here

 

The guidance has been updated to remove the 1st  October 2021 date from 'Export or move food or drink that contains POAO to the EU or Northern Ireland': Click Here

 

Authorised traders can continue to move some goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland without needing official certification.

 

The guidance documents:

 

  • Exporting or moving high risk food and feed of non-animal origin to the EU or Northern Ireland Click Here

 

 

Have also been updated to show the same information.

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme & HMRC News

 

REMINDER: If you haven’t submitted them yet, you must do so by the deadline of Tuesday‌‌ ‌14th ‌ ‌September.

 

For August and September, you can claim 60% of furloughed employees' usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £1,875 per month per employee. You'll need to contribute 20% from your own funds so that your furloughed employees continue to be paid at least 80% of their usual wages in total, for the hours they do not work (up to a cap of £2,500 a month).

What you need to do now

  • work out how much you can claim, and the contribution you’ll need to make to reach 80% of usual wages, by searching 'Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌.UK

  • submit any claims for August, no later than Tuesday‌‌ ‌14‌‌ ‌September

  • keep records supporting the grants you claim, in case we need to check them

  • make sure you continue paying CJRS-related employee tax and National Insurance contributions to HMRC, and contact us if you're struggling to pay

  • prepare for the scheme closing on 30‌‌ ‌September.

 

NOTE: The last day that you will be able to claim for is Thursday 30th ‌ ‌September. Final claims for September must be submitted by Thursday‌‌ ‌14th ‌ ‌October 2021

 

HMRC  are urging customers to be careful if they are contacted out of the blue by someone asking for money or personal information. We continue to see high numbers of fraudsters calling, emailing or texting customers claiming to be from HMRC.

 

If in doubt, we advise you not to reply directly to anything suspicious, but to contact HMRC straight away and to check the guidance: Examples of HMRC related phishing emails, suspicious phone calls and texts: Click Here

 

The National Cyber Security Centre has a helpful guide on how to stay secure online and protect yourself or your business against cyber- crime, which you can find by searching 'Cyber Aware': Click Here

 

The NCSC Small Organisations Newsletter for September has just been published Click Here to register.

 

And of course, don’t forget the AIMS Update Live – Tuesday 14th September 2021 – 2pm Cyber Security

 

Following on from our recent update to members we have arranged an AIMS Update Live event with a Cyber Security Expert from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)

 

NCSC will cover all aspects of cyber security and ransom wear as well as taking members through tools and training which they offer to businesses.

 

Please feel free to share this invitation with your IT lead or IT contractor where you do not have an in-house presence.


Join on your computer or mobile app
Click here to join the meeting

 

Update from HMRC

Earlier this week, the government announced tax changes to fund £12 billion a year to be spent on the NHS and social care across the UK.

National Insurance contributions (NICs) will increase by 1.25% for one year only for employees, employers and the self-employed from‌‌ ‌April‌‌ ‌2022. This will cover both Class 1 (employee and employer), Class 1A and 1B and Class 4 (self-employed) NICs. Those above State Pension Age are not impacted by the April 2022 changes.

From April 2023, a new ringfenced Health and Social Care Levy of 1.25% will be introduced which will apply to those who pay Class 1 (employee and employer), Class 1A and 1B and Class 4 (self-employed) NICs and will also be extended to those over State Pension age who are in work. When the new levy comes into effect, National Insurance rates will revert back to current levels.

The levy will also apply to individuals above State Pension age with employment income or profits from self-employment above £9,568.

The levy will be administered by HMRC and collected through the current reporting and collection procedures for NICs – Pay As You Earn and Income Tax Self Assessment.

Like National Insurance, levy contributions will apply UK-wide, people will pay the same in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

From 2023-24, levy contributions will need to appear as a separate item on payslips. Where possible a generic message should be included payslips for the next tax year (2022-23). More information on payslip requirements will be available in due course.

 

The government will also increase by 1.25% from April 2022 the rate of income tax which is paid by people who receive dividend income from shares.

For further information: Click Here

 

Members in Northern Ireland

 

Statement on Executive decisions – 6th September 2021 Click Here

 

The Northern Ireland Executive have agreed a number of modest relaxations to the current Coronavirus Regulations.

 

“It is vital that these relaxations are not seen as an indication that the threat from the virus has gone away. This is patently not the case. The Executive reiterates the importance of continuing to follow public health guidance, including the use of face coverings; observing social distancing and the importance of ventilation in all indoor settings.”

 

“While the message to work from home where possible and appropriate remains, the Executive would encourage employers to plan for a return to the workplace with consideration of mitigations to control the spread of the virus and engagement with employees and their representatives on the beneficial use of flexible working where appropriate.”

 

AHDB Beef & Lamb September E-news

 

The September edition has been published: Click Here and is the last from Rebecca Miah who is leaving the organisation for ‘pastures new’. We of course have thanked her for her support and sent our best wishes for the future.

 

The September edition includes the news that the We Eat Balanced Campaign is now back for an autumn burst with a refreshed look and feel, the objective will be to build on the success of the first lot of promotions earlier in the year. 

 

When it was live in January 2021, the campaign increased the number of shoppers who felt red meat could form part of a healthy, balanced diet and that dairy is produced in both a natural and sustainable way.

 

To visit the campaign website for more details and to download materials that you can use for your own social media: Click Here

 

And Finally…X2

 

  1. AIMS Supplier Member, Roythornes Solicitors (www.roythorne.co.uk) have published their latest 1 – 2 – 3 interview. This time it is with Kristen Moeller

 

Kristian Moeller is Managing Director at GLOBALG.A.P. Click Here  c/o FoodPLUS GmbH. Based in Cologne, Germany but with team members all over the world, GLOBALG.A.P. develops assurance solutions for the farm to consumer supply chain, including certification standards, tailor-made farm assessments, capacity building projects for emerging markets, and a consumer label.

 

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

 

  1. Extending the deadline of the Queen's Awards for Enterprise Click Here

 

The deadline for applications to the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2022 until midday on Wednesday 22nd September 2021.

 

Awards are given for excellence in innovation, international trade, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility. Whether you excel in one or more of these categories, these Awards are a unique way to recognise what you and your staff have accomplished.

 

For further information and to apply: 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

Click Here to return to Members Area