A new press office is being established from scratch to support the
Food Standards Agency when it launches at the start of April.
The FSA, as promised in the Labour Party manifesto, was set up to take
responsibility for food safety away from the Ministry of Fisheries and
Food, which has a potentially conflicting responsibility for food
The FSA is expected to have a communications team of eight plus a yet to
be appointed head of communications. The team is being put together by
the Joint Food Safety and Standards Group, which is a shadow
organisation on which the new body will be built.
Currently three communications staff work at the shadow organisation,
including senior press officer Richard Billinge who is leading the
Billinge said a team of five press officers would be working for him on
media enquiries and things like speech writing, and a publicity team
handling proactive work such as producing fact sheets under chief
publicity officer Eileen Meara. Billinge and Meara will report to the
head of communications, for whom an advertisement will shortly be