NPA sets out post-Brexit future for the British pig sector
The National Pig Association (NPA) has revealed its response to Defra’s Command Paper, setting out its predictions and requests for the post-Brexit Pig sector.
According to NPA, the UK pig sector has the potential to grow, prosper and deliver real public goods, under a post-Brexit agricultural policy that puts food production at its heart.
In its response to Defra’s Health and Harmony Command Paper on the future of food, farming and the environment, NPA highlights the opportunities Brexit brings for the pig sector in the right policy environment. It also outlines the potential pitfalls for the pig industry and consumers if the Government gets it wrong.
The 53-page document was put together by the NPA team following consultation with members, who offered insight into the priorities of those at heart of the pig production process.
NPA has responded by asking for a fair approach to reducing direct payments to farmers that is proportionate and equal for all; clarity on the future regulatory system, improvements to the tax system and grants to help pig producers invest to improve business efficiency and deliver other public goods, such as high animal health and welfare and environmental standards.
Also highlighted is the need for recognition that the UK already has world leading animal welfare. NPA wants food to be produced in the UK where it can be, to ensure control over how food is produced and that key goals on environment, health and welfare are met.
Other key requests discussed were policies to address potential labour shortages, continued access to the European market, and new trade deals with non-EU countries or trading blocs where fairness and mutuality of standards are maintained.
Thanking members for their input, NPA chief executive Zoe Davies, commented: “We are optimistic about the opportunities that Brexit could bring on both domestic and international markets.
“We see an opportunity for the Government to establish a policy framework that helps the UK pig industry build on its position as a modern, forward-looking sector producing high quality, safe food produced to the very highest standards for a range of markets.
“But we are also aware of the risks Brexit brings – and we spell these out, too. At the heart of our response is a call for the Government to put food production at the centre of its post-Brexit agenda. If the right policies are in place – we will do the rest.”