Thirty-six food and farming organisations have today released a joint statement setting out what a successful Brexit means to them and to promote a unified voice to Government.
The organisations, which includes the likes of the NFU, the British Retail Consortium and the Association of Labour Providers, said they were united in their view that a thriving domestic food and farming base is central to the future of the UK.
They agreed that their sector will continue to have a critical role in providing a secure and affordable supply of food.
The joint statement sets out a number of high level aims that the Government has been urged to achieve in the coming months as the UK prepares to leave the EU.
This includes maintaining free and frictionless trade with the UK's major trading partner, the EU, and to secure the benefits of existing EU preferential trade arrangements with other countries
It also urges the government to ensure ongoing access to an adequate supply of permanent and seasonal labour for food and farming businesses.
It urges the UK government to continue to promote food production through agricultural policy alongside the UK’s existing high environmental and animal welfare standards, and to ensure businesses operate under an efficient regulatory system centred on scientific evaluation.
NFU Director of EU Exit and International Trade Nick von Westenholz said the statement is a "strong signal" urging Government to recognise the role the food supply sector will continue to play in post-Brexit Britain.
“In providing people with a safe, secure and affordable supply of food to some of the highest welfare and environmental standards in the world; in managing over 70% of the UK landmass that is farmed; in providing 3.9 million jobs in industries both pre- and post-farmgate; and in contributing to two of the UK economy’s big success stories: UK manufacturing and retail,” Mr Westenholz explained.
“The Government must ensure it supports these vital advantages delivered by UK food and drink businesses as it negotiates our withdrawal from, and future relationship with, the EU.
Mr Westenholz said the coalition of 36 signatories represents a "huge range" of food businesses from farmers and agricultural suppliers, to food manufacturers and retailers.
He added: “And there is more to come; we have agreed to build on the principles discussed and agreed during the day and to produce a shared manifesto harnessing the support of food and drink companies across the UK ahead of the EU Council in March.”
Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC)
Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA)
Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC)
Animal Health Distributors Association (AHDA (UK) Ltd)
Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS)
Association of Labour Providers (ALP)
British Egg Industry Council
British Growers Association Ltd (BGA)
British Meat Processors Association (BMPA)
British Poultry Council (BPC)
British Retail Consortium (BRC)
British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB)
British Summer Fruits
Crop Protection Association (CPA)
Federation of Bakers
Food and Drink Federation (FDF)
Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC)
International Meat Trade Association (IMTA)
Maltsters' Association of Great Britain (MAGB)
National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC)
National Association of British and Irish Flour Millers (NABIM)
National Farmers Union (NFU)
National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS)
National Office of Animal Health Ltd (NOAH)
National Pig Association (NPA)
National Sheep Association (NSA)
Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA)
Potato Processors Association
Provision Trade Federation (PTF)
Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF)
Scottish Land and Estates
Tenant Farmers Association (TFA)
Ulster Farmers Union (UFU)