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Trade and Agriculture Commission's final report - key conclusions

3rd Apr 2021 / By Charlie Dewhirst

The Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) has this month published its final report.

The TAC was established in July 2020 by the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, in order to advise the government on trade policies. Its aim was to provide a set of principles and recommendations that will secure opportunities for UK farmers while ensuring the sector remains competitive and making sure that animal welfare and environmental standards in food production are not undermined.

The Commission was chaired by Tim Smith, former Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Tesco Group Quality Director. Its members were selected to provide a wide range of relevant knowledge and expertise. They included individuals across the agriculture, retail, consumer, hospitality, animal health and environment sectors.

The Commission had a fixed term, at the end of which it submitted an advisory report. Identifying six key principles, the TAC advised the Government that the UK should aim to:

  • promote the liberalisation of trade, to positively influence innovation and productivity, and price and choice for consumers;
  • prioritise a thriving domestic agri-food sector supported by complementary domestic and trade policies;
  • ensure that agri-food imports meet relevant UK and international standards on food safety and biosecurity;
  • match tariff-free market access to relevant climate, environment, animal welfare and ethical standards, remedying competition issues arising where permitted imports do not meet relevant UK and international standards;
  • lead change, where needed, to the international framework of rules on trade and relevant standards, to address the global challenges of climate change and environmental degradation;
  • support developing countries in accessing the full benefits of the global trading system.

The report identified a further 22 detailed recommendations in areas such as anti-microbial resistance and country of origin information.

  • For more information, you can read the full report here.  
  • You can read a more detailed NPA briefing HERE, which can be found in our Briefings section