Food and Drink BREF - Update February 2020

The updated Food and Drink sector BREF note BAT conclusions (BATc) were published on 4 December 2019. This has triggered an environmental permit review for the Food and Drink sector by the UK environmental regulators, the process for which is likely to be:

  • Regulator will write to each operator regarding the permit review.
  • Webinars on how to respond to the Regulation 61 notices will be held for Operators.
  • Regulation 61 notices will be sent to Operators containing a number of questions. There will be a 6-month deadline for Operators to respond to these notices.
  • Aim is to issue the first Regulation 61 notices 3 months after the BATc publication date, i.e. March 2020. This will be a phased process, with the higher priority subsectors being first to receive the notices.
  • All sites of the same company will be determined concurrently.

You must be compliant with the new emission limits within 4 years. If you are unable to meet the emission limits you can apply for a derogation, however this is a complex and time-consuming exercise which requires full justification as to why a derogation should be granted and there are no guarantees that the Regulator will accept the derogation request. Failure to comply with the updated emission limits after the 4-year period would be a breach of permit conditions and likely to result in enforcement action by the Regulator.

The permit review process will also include assessment against relevant associated legislation, i.e. other BREFs, Medium Combustion Plant Directive, Water Framework Directive, site condition baseline, climate change adaptation etc.

SLR is an active member of the UK Technical Working Group for the revision of the Food and Drink BREF, giving us an expert appreciation of the tasks ahead. We also have extensive experience of conducting BATc reviews and compiling derogation requests. Our team includes ex-regulators and numerous technical disciplines that can assist with the BATc review, such as Process Engineering, Land Quality and Carbon and Energy Management, allowing us to undertake every aspect of your review. We have a proven track record of working with Food and Drink sector clients and the Food and Drink Federation, and we provide the Environmental Helpline on behalf of FDF.

You can view a PDF of this update by clicking here.

If you would like to discuss the BREF requirements in more detail, please contact Paul Wright (