- Currently, we enjoy the world’s highest level of animal welfare, graded ‘A’ according to the Animal Protection Index. The US standards for animal welfare are graded ‘D’.
- US agricultural industries do not like EU standards which forbid such practices. If we lower our standards it’s not just chickens but pigs, cows and turkeys too. Less well known is how US farmers use chemicals to produce leaner meat. Specifically a chemical called Ractopamine banned in 160 countries including the EU. Ractopamine causes health problems in the animals, and is used in the production of pork, beef and turkey meat. SOURCE: Animal Welfare Grades going down from A to D, Pauline Allon, Yorkshire Byline, 18 April 2020
- There is now a real risk from the powerful lobbying forces of the US meat industry pressuring our government to agree to the same practices in the UK. SOURCES: Revealed: US meat lobby working to ditch chlorinated chicken ban in UK trade talks, Lawrence Carter and Joe Sandler Clark, Unearthed Greenpeace 14 May 2020; UK plan to cut US farming tariffs sparks ministerial spat FT (£), 13 May 2020
- During April and May dairy farmers in England and Wales have lost over 25% of their income due to COVID-19 on the Dairy Industry. Farmers have been promised Government support. SOURCE: How do the financial impacts of COVID-19 vary by GB region? Felicity Rusk, AHDB, 22 May 2020
- The UK sources around 40% of its fresh food from EU countries. SOURCE: Food security: do we need to rethink our just in time supply chain post coronavirus? The Grocer, 14 May 2020
- Fresh fruit and veg could be in short supply – not because of the EU, but because we cannot get the pickers! Farmers have been highlighting for some time how the fruit could end up rotting in the fields if pickers cannot be found to replace those who previously came from the EU, but who are not coming this year. They are not coming because we as a country, are no longer welcoming them, especially our government’s hostile immigration policy. SOURCE: Time runs short for UK to recruit tens of thousands of fruit pickers, FT (£), 29 April 2020
- While we could leave the EU with no deal, we could be forced into a deal with the US. We know about US chicken washed down with chlorine to remove bacteria that exist in overcrowded conditions in which they are kept. SOURCE: 60 days to save the British family farm: Tories rebel as Trade Secretary Liz Truss ‘plots to betray UK farmers’ for Trump deal that could see stores flooded with sub-standard imports, Daily Mail, 24 May 2020
- Wine imported from the EU will be subject to tariffs, making a bottle of wine with the evening meal more expensive. And there will be less choice. SOURCE: What the UK’s post-Brexit tariffs mean for the wine industry Edith Hancock, 21 May 2020
Biscuits and confection
- Biscuit manufacturers are concerned about the possibility of tariffs on cocoa between the UK and the EU, and the complexities entailed in ‘rules of origin’ which will lead to an increase in paperwork and the possibility of new barriers being put in place by the UK government. SOURCE: CAOBISCO Statement on EU-UK FTA Negotiations, 22 May 2020
The high standards upheld by British farmers is under threat if the Agriculture Bill is not amended and the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The NFU mobilised a huge coalition of leading farming, environmental, animal welfare and public health organisations to write a letter to Boris Johnson on trade and standards, published on 27 January 2020 (Letter to Prime Minister: NFU leads charge on trade and standards asks ahead of Brexit).
- 2020 May 14 – Fight goes on over food standards, say farm leaders. Farmers Weekly
- 2020 May 5 – Food standards warning as UK-US trade talks begin, Farmers Weekly
- 2020 May 18 – Revealed, the Yorkshire MPs happy to see your food quality reduced, Anthony Robinson, Yorkshire Bylines
“Brexit was meant to be about the creation of a bigger, better Britain, not turning us into a pariah state with no consideration for animal welfare”-@Minette_Batters.
We could have only 60 days to protect our farmers and our high food standards. Read more⬇️https://t.co/puL3Ylb0vY
— NFU Political (@NFUPolitical) May 24, 2020