Food and farming sectors unite on Brexit objectives
Organisations from across the UK’s food supply chain have put their names to a new manifesto setting out the key principles designed to help ensure that Brexit is a success for the supply of food in the UK.
The new UK Food Supply Chain Manifesto has been drawn up by organisations representing farmers producing the raw ingredients and their suppliers, right through to manufacturers and retailers. It sets out the need for positive outcomes on trade, labour, regulation and domestic agricultural policy.
With 10 months to go before Brexit, the manifesto emphasises the importance of ensuring UK departure from the EU does not undermine the food production and supply sectors. The manifesto has been sent to the Prime Minister by NFU President Minette Batters on behalf of the signatories, as well as to other key cabinet ministers.
Mrs Batters said: “We are presenting a united voice as a food and farming sector worth at least £112bn to the UK economy and employing around 4 million people; a food and farming sector that meets 61% of the nation’s food needs with high-welfare, traceable and affordable food; a food and farming sector that cares for three-quarters of the iconic countryside, that, in turn, delivers over £21bn in tourism back to our economy.
“In the manifesto we warn, as a collective, that a Brexit that fails to champion UK food producers, and the businesses that rely on them, will be bad for the country’s landscape, the economy and critically our society. Conversely, if we get this right, we can all contribute to making Brexit a success for producers, food businesses and the British public, improving productivity, creating jobs and establishing a more sustainable food supply system.
“When it comes to the nation’s ability to produce food, we believe it is critical that the different elements of Brexit are carefully considered by all Government departments – including the Prime Minister who has herself spoken about the importance of supporting our sector through Brexit in recent days.
“As we enter this critical period in the Brexit negotiations, the signatories to this manifesto will be looking to Government to ensure its objectives are aligned with ours to ensure British food production – something of which every person in this country enjoys the benefits – gets the best possible deal post-Brexit.”