Food industry unveils manifesto for Brexit success

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

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