30 June 2021
CFG: UK farmers need to get competitive quickly
IF the UK Government cannot promise standards equivalence on food imports within new trade deals, it must urgently ramp up the commercialisation of UK farming, domestic processing capacity and support to develop export opportunities according to the Commercial Farmers Group (CFG).
The group says the UK Government’s refusal to commit to standards equivalence is sounding alarm bells that demand a rapid change of tactics.
The CFG supports liberalised markets in principle, provided they are underpinned by standards equivalence, but says that with promises on equivalence slipping away, now is the time to switch track before it’s too late.
Its members have expressed concern that the UK industry has been incapacitated by years of EU protection and needs to modernise, saying the industry needs proper and new investment to ensure farmers can adapt quickly to new market conditions while domestic farmer-owned processing capacity, vertical integration, and access to professional support on export opportunities need to be increased.
They are concerned that the proposed Trade and Agriculture Commission has not yet been set up and that trade deals are being 'rushed through' without full industry consultation .