Guidance for Producers
Registering with your local council
Weights and Measures
Labelling and allergens
SFBB and HACCPS
Food hygiene qualifications
Sales and delivery
Transportation of produce
Here you will find some guidance and resources to help you as you get ready to sell with Tamar Valley Food Hubs. This is not an exhaustive list, so please make sure you do your own thorough research into the requirements for your particular business to make sure you are aware of, and complying with, all legal requirements and best practice.
Please remember: This information is subject to change. Tamar Grow Local have collated this information in good faith and it is up to you as a food producer to keep up to date with legislation and food safety advice.
Best practice and legal requirements
Registering with your local council as a food business
It is a legal requirement that all producers, apart from growers solely providing fruit, veg or flowers, are registered with their local authority.
It doesn’t cost anything to register your food business with your local authority, but you must do this at least 28 days before you start trading, or as soon as possible if you are already trading. Your local authority may get in touch to request further information, or come and visit your premises.
If you produce or use meat, fish, eggs or dairy products then you will need to be approved by your local authority instead of registered.
Food manufacturing can involve a lot of risks to health. Product liability insurance can help protect you if someone makes a claim against you or your business as a result of injury caused by your food products.
In the event we receive a complaint from a customer, or are advised of a food safety issue, we will defer this complaint straight to the food business operator and do not hold any responsibility for any complaints.
Weights & Measures
If you weigh or measure goods to sell to consumers, the law states that your equipment must be both suitable and accurate.
Labelling & Allergens
It is your responsibility to comply with UK law and provide all mandatory information on all pre-packaged foods, as well as on your online listings. Further information can be found at the link below and also by contacting your local authority Trading Standards and Food Safety departments.
The Food Standards agency has some free courses to help food producers with labelling:
HACCP or SFFB
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a planning tool to help you to manage food safety and safety procedures in the manufacturing of your products. Your Environmental Health Officer can advise on whether you need to produce a HACCP plan.
Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) is a planning diary to help plan and comply with food safety regulations and management processes.
Both HACCP and SFBB are important documents to get in place to run your food business safely and are generally expected by Environmental Health Officers.
Food Hygiene Qualifications
If you are making processed foods, or supplying foods of animal origin we would expect as a minimum that you hold a Level 2 Food Hygiene qualification.
Level 2 Food Hygiene courses can be completed online for around £15, or your EHO can advise on in-person courses taking place in your area.
Transportation of produce
Please always follow best practice when transporting produce to Tamar Valley Food Hubs.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables need to be supplied as a weight e.g. 500g or by item e.g. 1 butternut squash.
If there are multiple items in a bag e.g. a bag of carrots then please ensure they are packaged adequately in a bag that is big and strong enough for the weight of the item.
If supplying by weight, producers should ensure that the veg supplied is of at least the weight listed and not underweight.
It is advised that growers have calibrated scales, or are able to calibrate their own scales.
In the description of your items, it is also useful to say whether items will be supplied as soiley e.g. potatoes.
It is important to mention sizes of vegetables too to meet customer expectations and real photos of your own produce is essential –do not use stock photos or photographs of anyone else’s produce.
If selling mixed leaf salad bags – sell as unwashed and provide information on the label telling customers to wash before eating and list mustards as an allergen if they are included.
Fish and meats (frozen and raw)
All meats should be supplied in sealed plastic bags or boxes and should include all mandatory information required by UK law. This includes weights, allergens and dates that a product was frozen on and when it should be used by. It is your responsibility to keep updated with what information is required on both your listing on the food hub and on the packaging. Trading standards departments can provide more information.
Meats should be provided at the minimum weight of what it is labelled at and not be sold underweight.
You must ensure your scales are suitable and accurate for weighing your produce.
Temperature records should be kept if meat and fish are stored at premises before selling.
Dairies producing milk and milk products should be registered with local authorities https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/dairy-registration-and-inspections
Cheese should be sold as a minimum of the weight outlined on the product description and on the packaging and should not be sold underweight.
We can only sell eggs where egg producers are registered with the APHA as Regulations state producers with fewer than 50 birds can only sell from the farm gate or direct to consumers. Further guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/eggs-trade-regulations
Foods with more than 1 ingredient or that include a production process e.g. jams, cakes & pies.
If you are supplying foods that have a range of ingredients, are pre-cooked, refrigerated or require extra processes to prepare you should be following a HACCP plan or keep a SFBB folder in order to comply with food hygiene and safe food preparation practices including allergen control.
All pre-packaged foods should include mandatory labelling information required by UK law.
Please note: If you are selling products of animal origin, a staff member of Tamar Valley Food Hubs may request to visit your premises, to see proof of your paperwork and registrations, and to visit your animals.