Sunday, May 31, 2020

Removing tariff safeguards will undermine British farming, says NFU

The government has “severely undermined” the British farming industry by confirming it will remove the tariff safeguards for several key agricultural sectors in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the farming sector has said.

Minette Batters, President of the National Farmers Union (NFU), said that not only will the government’s approach put significant additional financial pressure on farmers at precisely the time they will be facing enormous challenges from a no-deal Brexit, but it also risks the UK being flooded with imports produced to lower standards that would be illegal for UK farmers.

“I wrote to the Prime Minister only a few weeks ago to express our concerns with the approach the government took back in March to import tariffs in a no deal scenario. But with the chances of us leaving in less than four weeks without a deal increasing by the day, the Prime Minister has missed a real opportunity to back British farmers,” she said.

“Farmers and growers are understandably anxious to know that the government will take all steps necessary to help the sector avoid the worst impacts of leaving the EU without a deal.

“Instead we will see – from day one – farm businesses facing new, high tariffs on much of the 60% of our exports that go into the EU, while tariffs on goods coming into the UK will be set far, far lower and in many cases won’t be applied at all.

“In particular, British egg farmers, British cereal farmers, our horticultural growers and many of our dairy farmers will have zero protection against cheap imports coming in from around the world.

“Without the maintenance of tariff protections, we are in danger of opening up the UK to imported food which would be illegal to be produced here, produced at a lower cost because it may fail to meet the environmental and animal welfare standards which are legally required of our own farmers – flooding our market and resulting in unsustainable price falls.

“Not only could this be terrible news for farmers, whose very businesses will be under threat, but also for consumers who enjoy the high-quality and affordable British food they produce.

“While it is clearly important that the government manages prices for consumers in a no-deal scenario, border tariffs have very little impact on retail food prices. They can, however, have a massive impact on the viability of farm businesses and our ability to produce high quality, great British food.

“ I believe that offering some limited tariff protection and managing volumes through a system of import quotas would have struck the right balance between protecting the interests of domestic producers and keeping retail food prices under control.

“Farmers are going to feel betrayed by this government’s failure to act now in making sure that all that can be done is being done to help mitigate the damaging effects of a no-deal Brexit.

“I don’t recall anyone selling a vision of post-Brexit Britain as one involving lower standard food filling shop shelves while British farmers, the guardians of our cherished countryside, go out of business.”

Help us maintain our standards of journalism

Readers enjoy our news site but keeping our news up to date and authoritative, without charging readers to view the site is a challenge. Especially now with the Corona Virus measures affecting us all, as many clients have been severely affected and are naturally reducing their spend on advertisements. Given this lack of revenue stream we are calling on the generosity of our readers to help us fill that void and enable our journalists to continue delivering the news that you enjoy.

Unlike many other news sites, we don't have annoying pop ups or charge scandalous prices for events. We also produce printed magazines for each title and we make these freely available to read on line too, for your enjoyment. Often, people have asked why we don't make a charge for viewers to read these magazines and news stories but we feel that would adversely affect our readership/advertisers response rate. But with advertising revenues now severely affected we need your help. So, if you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs from just £31.50 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the current storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

We value your readership and your support, as this enables us to continue to provide our regular daily news updates. We've been established over 30 years, during which we've lost count of the numerous recessions and financial meltdowns, and we intend to weather the storms caused by Covid-19. So, every reader contribution, however big or small, is invaluable in helping us to get through this. Please click here to help support your favourite news site/magazine.










Latest news

Nestlé partners with Deliveroo to deliver KitKats direct to consumers

Nestlé has joined forces with Deliveroo’s Essentials delivery platform, allowing consumers to have a variety of chocolate, sweets and snacks delivered to their doors. Via...

Pandemic hits UK food and drink exports

Food and drink exports fell by more than £700 million for Q1 2020 compared with the same period last year as the coronavirus pandemic...

Alternative options for safer bandsaws

Safety is becoming an ever-increasing focus in meat processing and nowhere more so than in the operation of bandsaws which pose one of the...

Regenerative ag platform to launch at food business conference

A new regenerative agriculture platform is set to launch at next week’s Innovation Forum: The Future of Food virtual conference. Franco Costantini, Managing Director at...

Farmers still able to access lending despite coronavirus disruption

Farmers are still able to access lending despite the disruption caused by coronavirus, according to UK Agricultural Finance (UKAF). “There has been a regular flow...

Kite expands product range to support warehouse and logistic operations

Kite Packaging has expanded its pallet and load stability range, providing users with a wide range of solutions for their operations. Load stability is vital...

Related news

Nestlé partners with Deliveroo to deliver KitKats direct to consumers

Nestlé has joined forces with Deliveroo’s Essentials delivery platform, allowing consumers to have a variety of chocolate, sweets and snacks delivered to their doors. Via...

Pandemic hits UK food and drink exports

Food and drink exports fell by more than £700 million for Q1 2020 compared with the same period last year as the coronavirus pandemic...

Alternative options for safer bandsaws

Safety is becoming an ever-increasing focus in meat processing and nowhere more so than in the operation of bandsaws which pose one of the...

Regenerative ag platform to launch at food business conference

A new regenerative agriculture platform is set to launch at next week’s Innovation Forum: The Future of Food virtual conference. Franco Costantini, Managing Director at...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close