Terms of Reference and Operating Rules for FSAI Artisan Forum

Terms of Reference

  1. The Artisan Forum is an ad-hoc stakeholder group organised and operated by the FSAI to provide a formal platform for discussion between artisan, small scale and domestic food producers, artisan stakeholders, the FSAI and official agencies.
  2. The objective of the Artisan Forum is to work together to foster and facilitate compliance with the food law and the uptake of the highest standards of food safety and hygiene. The Forum also operates as a knowledge-sharing platform where the merits of speciality foods, food traditions and the craft of artisan food production are discussed. 
  3. The scope of the Forum’s work will be limited to areas that impact on artisan food production, distribution, and sale within the following framework:
    a. Food legislation within the FSAI remit.
    b. Proposed new food legislation that falls within the FSAI remit.
    c. Food law enforcement by FSAI or under FSAI contract.
    d. Voluntary food standards within the FSAI remit.

Operating Procedures

In accepting membership of the Artisan Forum, members agree to the following operating procedures:

  1. The Forum will consist of a maximum of 20 members and membership will be limited to artisan food producers and related stakeholders.
  2. There will ideally be four meetings per annum. 
  3. FSAI will chair the meetings and documents will be circulated by email. Letter post will only be used for large documents and those members without internet access.
  4. Minutes will be taken at each meeting and a draft circulated to attendees for approval within two weeks of the meeting. Agreed minutes will be placed on the FSAI website and circulated to all members and additional attendees.
  5. In selecting new members, the Forum should strive for a membership which is balanced in the representation of all artisan food sectors, balanced in the representation of geographical regions and weighted in favour of artisan producers and/or their trade bodies over other stakeholders.
  6. Members should strive to attend all meetings of the Forum to facilitate continuity of discussions. However, members should nominate one alternate person who will attend in their place if the member is unable to attend. The list of agreed alternative attendees will be maintained by the FSAI.
  7. In the first place, FSAI will invite all members to a meeting and circulate documents to all members prior to a meeting. FSAI will invite alternative attendee when a member notifies FSAI that they cannot attend a meeting. This ensures that FSAI is aware of all attendees at meetings and that all attendees have an opportunity to review circulated documents.
  8. Members, and in their absence, their invited alternate, are the only people allowed to attend Artisan Forum meetings. Additional people will be considered for certain meetings, but only by FSAI invitation on a case-by-case basis.
  9. Most members will be invited in their personal capacity, but others will be invited as representatives of organisations. Members who fail to maintain reasonable attendance at Forum meetings will be asked to resign by the FSAI to make way for other people wishing to become members. If such members are representatives of organisations, their organisations will be invited to nominate an alternative representative member.
  10. FSAI will maintain a list of people requesting membership of the Forum and appoint new members from the list, with the agreement of the existing members, whilst maintaining the balance of membership outlined in 3 above.

Last reviewed: 9/11/2018

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