Propel Morning Briefing

UK food and drink supply chain industry outlines Brexit priorities

A joint letter has been sent to MPs by trade bodies in the UK food and drinks supply chain outlining ten key priorities for Brexit negotiations they say would help protect Britain’s foodservice and farming sectors.

The 26 signatories, including Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chief executive Kate Nicholls and British Hospitality Association chief executive Ufi Ibrahim, claim abrupt change would have “enormous consequences for our industry, its employees and for the choice and availability of food in this country”.

The trade bodies are requesting ten key outcomes from negotiations, including securing an adequate transitional period to help the sector prepare for a new relationship with the EU, negotiating the right to remain for EU staff and their families, agreeing special solutions on workforce, regulation and borders with Ireland, and delivering continued zero-tariff and frictionless trade across borders in both directions.

The letter also requests that the government works with the industry to develop home-grown talent, supports an industrial strategy sector deal to harness growth potential and improve productivity, and boosts exports to help smaller food and drinks companies take advantage of new opportunities.

The letter states: “Between us we employ four million people throughout the ‘farm to fork’ food chain and we do so in every constituency across the UK. The products, services and brands we export around the globe showcase our reputation for quality and provenance. The opportunities for our industry are huge but uncertainty around the shape of our exit from the EU, the future of our domestic farming and fisheries production, and a looming skills and workforce shortage threaten the viability of our businesses. Abrupt change would have enormous consequences for our industry, its employees and for the choice and availability of food in this country.”

 

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