NPA welcomes Lords report into post-Brexit import risk
25th Jul 2017 / By Alistair Driver
The NPA has welcomed a House of Lords report warning of the threat to UK producers of allowing the country to be flooded by low standard food imports.
The report, more details on which can be viewed here, concluded that the Government’s wish for the UK to become a global leader in free trade was ‘not necessarily compatible with its desire to maintain high animal welfare standards’.
NPA senior policy advisor Georgina Crayford, who gave evidence to the inquiry, said: "We welcome the findings of this report, which echoes our concerns and those of the wider farming industry about the dangers of pursuing a cheap food policy.
"The reports surrounding Liam Fox's stance on US food imports only serve to further highlight the risks to producers and consumers of allowing lower standard food imports under future trade deals with non-EU countries. It is encouraging that the committee urges the Government to maintain high animal welfare standards as part of any free trade agreement.
"As I said to the House of Lords’ Committee, the UK pig sector is hugely proud of its welfare standards. We are absolutely adamant that these must be sustained post-Brexit and that means equivalent standards must be applied to any imports allowed into the country.
"We welcome and reiterate the committee's recommendation that any moves to ratchet up UK animal welfare standards under a domestic agricultural policy must take into account its impact on UK farm competitiveness."
"We also share the committee's concern about the need to ensure the veterinary and food and farming sectors are able to access sufficient levels of EU labour post-Brexit. The UK pig sector is heavily reliant on permanent EU labour and it simply could not exist in its current form if that supply was cut off."