Nearly 100 UK organisations representing farmers, their suppliers and food producers have drawn up the UK Food Supply Chain Manifesto in light of the approaching Brexit negotiations. The proposal emphasises the importance of a positive deal for regulation, trade, labour and domestic agricultural concerns.
The manifesto has been sent by Minette Batters, NFU President, to Teresa May, the prime minister, and other key cabinet ministers. It points out that, with less than ten months to go before Britain formally leaves the European Union, this should not adversely affect the food production supply chain within the UK.
Batters said that the manifesto represents the united voice of the food and farming sector, which is worth approximately £112bn to the nation’s economy, employs close to 4 million people and meets 61% of the country’s food demand. It also cares for the beautiful countryside, ensuring a further £21bn to the economy through tourism.
If Brexit fails to support food producers and the organisations that rely on them, Batters added, it will be extremely detrimental to the economy and society as a whole. On the other hand, if the food and farming sector is supported, food businesses and producers can help to make Brexit a success, improving productivity, creating jobs and setting up sustainable food procurement and supply chains.
In addition to this, Batters called on every government department to carefully analyse the different aspects of Brexit. She also stressed the importance of Theresa May weighing in on these debates, especially as the latter has recently stressed the importance of supporting the food and farming sector.
With the government in the midst of conducting essential Brexit negotiations, signatories of the manifesto want to make certain that the government’s objectives are aligned to the interests of the food and farming sector. As Batters concluded, this will help to ensure that the food production industry gets the best possible deal after Brexit and continues to benefit the country as a whole.
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