Additional paperwork and certification have cost the UK meat industry up to £120 million since the end of the transition period, a new report states.
The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has published a 'Brexit Impact Report' which draws on the experiences of meat exporters to date.
It says that meat businesses in the UK are reporting 'systemic weaknesses' in the current export system and 'mountains of red tape'.
There has been a 60-100% increase in certification costs for each export consignment which is costing the industry an estimated £90-120m a year.
The report goes on to warn of a potential permanent loss of trade of 'between 20 and 50 percent'.
The Brexit Impact Report also offers recommendations to government to address these problems.
These include learning from other more efficient and cost-effective systems for inspection and certification.
It calls for a move away from an 'antiquated' paper-based system to a modern, integrated digital system.
A Common Veterinary Area is also needed - the UK must negotiate a 'more robust agreement' with the EU to follow parallel rules which would ease problems sending food to both the EU and to NI.
BMPA CEO Nick Allen said the export hurdles the UK faced were 'now in plain sight and are not going away'.
“British companies who are dealing with the new issues on the ground are best placed to offer constructive solutions," he added.
"These solutions need support and investment from government to build a new system that is fit for purpose.
“We need government to urgently re-engage with both the industry and the EU to work out detailed and lasting solutions."