NPA sets out ambitious post-Brexit future for British pig sector
In its response to Defra’s Health and Harmony Command Paper on the future of food, farm-ing and the environment, the National Pig Association highlights the opportunities Brexit brings for the pig sector in the right policy environment.
It also outlines the potential pitfalls for the pig industry and consumers if the Government gets it wrong.
The 53-page document was put together by the NPA team following consultation with mem-bers, who offered valuable insight into the priorities of those at heart of the pig production process.
NPA’s key asks:
A fair approach to reducing direct payments to farmers that is proportionate and equal for all.
Clarity on the future regulatory system, improvements to the tax system and grants to help pig producers invest to improve business efficiency and deliver other public goods, such as high animal health and welfare and environmental standards.
Government to encourage early adopters of technology by offering them incentives or grants to trial innovative ideas.
The need for recognition that we already have world leading animal welfare and where food can be produced in the UK it should be, as we have far more control over how food is produced here and can ensure that the key goals on environment, health and welfare are met.
Policies to address potential labour shortages, including the need for schemes to en-courage new entrants into agriculture, starting with fact-based education about food and farming in schools to encourage UK citizens into agriculture while continuing to allow EU workers to fill permanent roles.
Continued access to the European market, while ensuring any future EU trade deal must not make it easier for the UK import pork than to export it.
New trade deals with non-EU countries or trading blocs where fairness and mutuality of standards are maintained. Alternatively, the need for mandatory country of origin labelling on all products, as opposed to method of production labelling, particularly if trade deals are made with countries that have lower standards than ours.
NPA chairman Richard Lister said: "We believe the UK pig sector can prosper outside the EU. There are plenty of markets out there that would readily take more high quality British pork.
"But future trade deals must be fair and ensure that export growth isn’t achieved at the cost of flooding the UK market with cheaper, lower standard imports that would be illegal to produce here. It would be lose-lose for UK producers and consumers. " ■