Home »Agricultural Policy» Requirement for a “hard balance” in trade agreements and food standards
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has reacted to the report of the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC).
« The NFU has long argued about the importance of properly examining and negotiating the complexities and tensions of state trade policy – one that both liberalizes trade and maintains our high food and agricultural standards and of our esteemed Britons is focused on agriculture.
“The report does a very good job and I thank all the commissioners, especially Chairman Tim Smith, for their work over the past eight months.
The report shows that there is a difficult balance between trade agreements on the one hand and maintaining our high standards of food and agriculture on the other.
“This report dispels the idea that what is easy is the message is that too often has been given to British farmers and the British public.
« I recommend that the Commission develop a bold vision to tackle these tensions, increase our exports and improve our competitiveness, while meeting the high expectations of UK consumers for high quality, sustainably produced food. »
“However, it is also clear to the report that this will involve compromises and difficult choices, and that there will be winners and losers if the government continues its new, independent trade policy.
Ultimately, how these compromises are managed and balanced remains a matter of ministers’ decision, and it is vital that the government now determine immediately how to incorporate these recommendations into a trade strategy that will benefit UK farmers and consumers equally works.
“At its core, such a strategy must contain a clear commitment to support our farmers in the production of food in accordance with the highest standards of animal welfare and environmental protection, to be the global leader in climate-friendly agriculture and to be the beating heart of our rural communities.
“The report contains many good recommendations that the government should adopt, in particular the need for a coherent and explicit trade strategy.
“This includes both free trade agreements and general trade policy, an approach to imports that focuses on our high production standards, and a Council on Food and Beverage Exports to take a collaborative and focused approach to growing overseas markets promote.
We look forward to the Foreign Secretary’s full response to the report shortly and we are also awaiting the operational details of the legal TAC, which will follow up on this work and examine trade deals before they are ratified.
“The Commission has set the stage for the government to develop its trade policy so that Britain is at the forefront of more sustainable models of production and consumption, both here and around the world.
« I hope the government takes this opportunity with both hands, » she concluded.
Proposals for consultation will lead to « significant disruption to livestock transport ».
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