The Federation of Bakers (FOB) and National Association of British and Irish Flour Millers are among more than 100 food industry organisations that have united to present key Brexit objectives for government.
Leaders from the organisations have put their names to the UK Food Supply Chain Manifesto, which has this week been sent to the Prime Minister and other cabinet members on behalf of signatories by National Farmers Union president Minette Batters.
Businesses backing the manifesto range from farmers producing the raw ingredients and their suppliers, through to manufacturers and retailers.
The manifesto urges the UK government to:
- ‘Maintain free and frictionless trade with our major trading partner, the EU, and secure the benefits of existing EU preferential trade arrangements, at least until government can replace them with acceptable alternative arrangements’;
- ‘Ensure ongoing access to an adequate supply of permanent and seasonal labour’;
- ‘Continue to promote food production through agricultural policy alongside our existing high environmental, health and animal welfare standards’;
- ‘Ensure businesses operate under an efficient and proportionate regulatory system that is centred on scientific evaluation and that incentivises innovation and competitiveness’.
“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,” said Batters.
“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.”
She added that, when it came to food production, it was critical that the different elements of Brexit were carefully considered by all government departments.
“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.”
Signatories to the manifesto include:
- Gordon Polson, director, Federation of Bakers
- Alex Waugh, director general, National Association of British & Irish Flour Millers
- Ian Wright, chief executive, Food and Drink Federation
- Mark Williams, chief executive, British Egg Industry Council
- James Dallas, chief executive officer, Openfield Agriculture Limited
- Lee Robinson, managing director, Limagrain UK