What are the newly prescribed activities in the food and drink sector (activities which previously did not require a licence)?



Newly prescribed activities in the food and drink sector include those installations involved in:

  1. The treatment and processing for the production of feed from animal and/ or vegetable raw materials, where finished product production capacity exceeds 75 tonnes per day where 10% or more animal raw material is used and 300 tonnes per day if only vegetable raw material. 
  2. The treatment and processing for the production of food or feed from a mixture of animal and vegetable raw materials at specified daily production capacity (a sliding scale for mixed production in the range 75 to 300 tonnes per day applies where less than 10% animal raw material is used).
  3. The treatment and process for the production of feed on a seasonal basis of more than 600 tonnes per day for a period of no more than 90 days in any year.

The wording of the class along with a graphical representation of the ‘sliding scale’ is reproduced as follows:

(a)          The treatment and processing, other than exclusively packaging, of the following raw materials, whether previously processed or unprocessed, intended for the production of food or feed from:

 (i)           only animal raw materials (other than exclusively milk) with a finished product production capacity greater than 75 tonnes per day;

 (ii)          only vegetable raw materials with a finished product production capacity greater than 300 tonnes per day or 600 tonnes per day where the installation operates for a period of no more than 90 consecutive days in any year;

 (iii)         animal and vegetable raw materials, both in combined and separate products, with a finished product production capacity in tonnes per day greater than:

                              (I)           75 if A is equal to 10 or more; or

                              (II)          [300-(22.5 x A)] in any other case,

 where ‘A’ is the portion of animal material (in percent of weight) of the finished product production capacity.

 (b)          For the purposes of clause (a), packaging shall not be included in the final weight of the product.

 (c)          Clause (a) shall not apply where the raw material is milk only.

 graphics image outlining treatment and processing

Packaging is not included in the final weight of the finished product and operators that only package raw materials are not covered.

An activity is considered to be ‘treating and processing’ when the finished product has materially changed when compared with the raw materials and cannot be readily reversed.  Therefore size reduction, freezing/ chilling, washing, grading and drying of grain for the purposes of storage are not considered to be ‘treating and processing’ so long as there is no material change and it is readily reversible.

Feed/ food production installations require a licence where treating and processing of raw materials will result in a finished product that has materially changed when compared with the raw materials and where their production capacity exceeds the licensable thresholds.

For example brewers, millers, bakers, vegetable processors who exceed the specified production capacities will require a licence.  Animal feed production which involves the introduction of liquid additives and who exceed the specified production capacities will require a licence.  Grinding and pelletizing of grains are licensable but drying or mixing of grain would not be licensable as the activity can be reversed.

An example of use of the sliding scale would apply to an operator such as a pizza manufacturer, if the activity uses less than 10% animal raw materials.  The new sliding scale allows finished product production up 187.5 tonnes if only using 5% animal raw material or 255 tonnes is using 2% animal raw materials.

Contact the EPA Environmental Licensing Programme at licensing@epa.ie  for clarification/ consultation on the scope of newly prescribed activities in the food and drink sector.



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