British growers have highlighted how they need more political certainty to trade in a post-Brexit world.
Hundreds of British growers attended the Fruit Logistica, held in Berlin. The event is held every year for all sectors of the fresh produce business.
One message that was clear was the need for British growers to continue working with European businesses once the UK leaves the EU. However, more certainty is needed.
There was a concern around exports – with many growers and seed producers from the UK questioning what the future holds for the industry once the UK leaves the EU.
The AHDB attended the fresh produce event this month – joining over 3,000 exhibitors and 78,000 trade visitors from around the world.
And the AHDB Pavilion welcomed a number of growers from the UK, including Archie Gibson of Agrico UK, who deals in seed potatoes with customers and growers worldwide.
He said UK government needs to make progress on post-Brexit bilateral agreements.
“One of the most immediate challenges we all face is the uncertainty around ability to export into European countries and North African countries where we have arrangements under European Union rules and regulations,” Mr Gibson said.
“We’ll be looking for UK industry and officials to have permission to arrange bilateral agreements with these countries. Egypt, Israel, Morocco, the Canary Islands and so on.
“At the moment Defra is saying everything can come into the UK but the same is not true in reverse. We need to see some movement on that.
“My attendance at different meetings in Berlin, convinces me that industry wants solutions and we do not want the frustration of politics getting in the way of free movement of goods,” he said.
Despite concerns from many growers, Tim Elcombe, of Bedfordshire Growers, said Brexit can be a 'positive' to showcase British produce around the world.
“With Brexit happening at the end of March, we have got to try to turn it into a positive and look at opportunities where we can showcase British produce,” he said.
Fruit Logistica is held every year and offers a platform for growers and producers to network with key influencers across the globe.