HCC says future trade deals must not undermine sustainability
Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has warned that it would be “a disastrous own goal” if the next round of international trade deals drives UK customers to buy less sustainable alternatives to UK meat products.
Speaking at the HCC breakfast to launch the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show at Llanelwedd, chair of HCC Catherine Smith said that it would be “economically foolish, morally wrong and globally irresponsible to drive UK customers to buy less sustainable alternatives.”
She went on to say: “It’s effectively exporting our emissions and, as UK government officials have admitted, is also likely to reduce employment in domestic farming.”
According to Smith, the UK meat industry faces worrying uncertainties, including the repercussions of the war in Ukraine, which exposes fragilities that already existed in global supply chains.
Smith said that her challenge to trade negotiators at the next round of talks – with countries in the Middle East, India and Canada – was “to get a deal which is good for our own farmers, who kept nutritious food on our table during the Covid pandemic.”
She added: “Global food shortages and international supply chain disruption have re-focussed attention on food security. This is absolutely the right time to celebrate the benefits of producing high-quality food close to home.”