‘Access to the Single Market vital for the UK food industry’

UK food producers are calling for tariff-free access to the Single Market, as well as continued access to a competent and reliable workforce.

The largest ever coalition of UK food producers believe these factors are vital for the British food and farming sector to flourish post-Brexit.

A letter, which was coordinated by farming unions from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, outlining food producers hopes for the sector post-Brexit was sent to British Prime Minister, Theresa May.

The letter also received the support of over 70 leading food producing businesses, which have a collective turnover of more than £92 billion and employ almost one million people.

Food security, food safety and hygiene, stewardship of the countryside and affordable food are all at risk if Ministers fail to deliver continued access to labour and the best possible Single Market access, according to the coalition of food producers.

Some of the 70 supporters of the letter include Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Dairy Crest, Morrisons, Müller and Weetabix, as well as other organisations representing food production from farm to fork.

The letter argues that a Brexit settlement which recognises the critical role of the UK food chain will demonstrate how Brexit can be beneficial for the UK economy as well as UK food production.

Brexit creates an enormous opportunity for farming, food production and for Britain, according to National Farmers’ Union President, Meurig Raymond.

But to deliver this new future, we must secure the best possible access to the Single Market and continued access to a competent and reliable workforce.

“Getting this right will set the foundations for a successful new British agricultural policy. Agriculture is a litmus-test for the Government’s Brexit negotiations.

“As the sector most heavily impacted by the referendum outcome, if the Government can make British farming a success post-Brexit then it will be the clearest indication that the country can succeed outside Europe,” he said.