The NFU has warned the government against a ‘trade with all comers’ approach after Brexit, as it looks to insulate UK agriculture from price volatility, lower food satandards and food fraud.
The union's director general Terry Jones told a House of Lords sub-committee that it was key maintain a thriving domestic food and farming sector with well-developed relationships, rather than entering a race to the bottom.
Jones met with members of the Energy and Environment Sub-Committee at an industry roundtable this week to discuss the impact Brexit could have on food prices and the nation’s food security.
Commenting on the meeting, Jones said: “Post-Brexit, British farmers want to be the supplier of choice to our food industry supplying all price points and providing the public with great value food with the same high standards.
“The meeting made clear that the public will have the same high expectations of their food supply once we leave the EU.
“Only last month we observed the five year anniversary of the horsegate scandal, the shockwaves of which continue to be felt today. To prevent such an outrage happening again we need to keep food supply chains short, maintain world beating standards and independent inspection of those standards along the whole supply chain."
He added: “Up until now the UK food supply chain has served the public well in terms of value, choice and availability.
“It is clear from today that farmers, manufacturers and retailers are all united in their desire for this to be maintained and for there to be as little disruption as possible to existing relationships and trade flows.
“Free and frictionless trade with Europe, a well thought through domestic agricultural policy and access to a competent and reliable workforce will allow the UK’s largest manufacturing sector to get on with the important job of feeding the nation.”