FDBusiness.com

UK Not Ready For Brexit’s Impact on Food

 Breaking News
  • £3.7 Billion Worth of Discounts Disappear From UK Supermarket Shelves as Promotions Fall to Lowest Levels in 10 Years The pressure on UK retailers to be more transparent in their pricing has seen the number of trade promotions fall to their lowest levels for 10 years, and in 2017, shoppers will receive £3.7 billion less in promotional savings. This is according to a new report by IRI, the provider of big data and predictive analytics [...]...
  • Whisky, Tequila and Gin to Drive Global Spirits Category Growth to 2021 Just released data from the IWSR 2017-2021 Forecast suggests global volumes of whisky, gin and tequila are expected to make gains of 55.2m, 7.1m and 5.8m nine-litre cases respectively over the next five years, following their rapid growth in 2016. These categories together with baijiu (+48.2m cases between 2016 and 2021), will contribute the most in the [...]...
  • Huge Export Win to China For UK Food Producers A new export deal with China will bring a £200 million boost to the UK food industry and support 1,500 jobs. Taking advantage of the growing demand for UK and drink in China, seven new businesses in England and Northern Ireland have secured access to export pork – including three producers who, in a first [...]...
  • CSM Bakery Solutions Closes Sale of BakeMark Business CSM Bakery Solutions, a global leader in bakery ingredients, products and services, has completed the sale of its BakeMark business to private equity firm Pamplona Capital Management. The sale of BakeMark, which was announced mid-July, is an important element in CSM’s decision to focus on their core business in Europe and North America. “Completing the sale [...]...
  • Needham Coding Ireland to Show Own Brand ‘N’ Series CIJ Printers For the First Time Newly established business, County Westmeath-based Needham Coding Ireland Limited, which was formed following a merger between The Needham Group and long-standing Irish distributor, Advanced Coding Solutions (ACS), will be highlighting a wide range of continuous ink jet (CIJ), thermal ink jet (TIJ) and laser coding and marking equipment, and associated printer inks and makeup at [...]...
  • Mars Food Expands its Portfolio With Acquisition Mars Food, part of Mars Incorporated, is acquiring Preferred Brands International, a US-based, fully integrated manufacturer and marketer of all-natural, ready-to-heat Indian and Asian food products sold primarily under the Tasty Bite® brand. Tasty Bite’s® portfolio includes a wide range of vegetarian offerings, including Indian/Asian entrees, spice and simmer meal kits, and organic rice and [...]...

UK Not Ready For Brexit’s Impact on Food

UK Not Ready For Brexit’s Impact on Food
July 20
10:32 2017

The UK is unprepared for the most complex ever change to its food system, which will be required before Brexit, according to a new briefing paper published by SPRU, the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex. The report, by leading food policy specialists Professor Erik Millstone (University of Sussex), Professor Tim Lang (City, University of London) and Professor Terry Marsden (Cardiff University), concludes that leaving the European Union poses serious risks to consumer interests, public health, businesses and workers in the food sector.

Its authors claim that this is because there is no Government vision for UK food or agriculture, yet prices, quality, supply and the environment will all be adversely affected even with a ‘soft’ Brexit.

They warn that British consumers have not been informed about the “enormous” implications for their food, a third of which comes from within the European Union. The 86-page report is the first major review of the ways leaving the EU will have an impact on UK food and farming.

Professor Millstone says: “In the EU, UK consumers and public health have benefited from EU-wide safety standards, without which there will be a risk of the UK having less safe and nutritious products.”

Professor Lang says: “UK food security and sustainability are now at stake. A food system which has an estimated three to five days of stocks cannot just walk away from the EU, which provides us with 31 per cent of our food. Anyone who thinks that this will be simple is ill-informed.”

The report examines available industry and government data, policies and literature on a wide range of issues including production, farming, employment, quality, safety standards and the environment. It highlights 16 key issues that must be addressed by the Government in its negotiations with the EU.

Among the 16 issues which the paper urges Ministers to address are needs for:

  • An urgent need for a clear integrated plan for UK food – the UK government currently has no UK food policy
  • Clarification on food crossing borders, particularly from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland
  • New legislation to replace 4,000 pieces of EU law relating to food
  • Scientific and regulatory infrastructure, replacing at least 30 EU-based bodies
  • Farm viability and subsidies to replace the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
  • Fishing policies that are more than rejecting the 1964 pre-EU London Convention
  • Food labour – 35 per cent of food manufacturing labour is from the EU; more in parts of catering and horticulture
  • Some idea of from where UK food will come – as only around 54-61 per cent is currently UK-sourced
  • Tariffs – retail industry says tariffs could raise imported food prices by 22 per cent post-Brexit
  • Prices, which are already rising and likely to rise more, will become more volatile, especially harming poor consumers
  • Quality standards throughout supply chains, which are currently set by the EU, may well decline, and may do so abruptly.

The report draws on more than 200 sources, including many interviews with senior figures across the food chain, as well as official, industry and scientific documents and statistics.

It warns that a “Food Brexit” is of unprecedented importance and is happening at a time when the UK food system is already vulnerable, with self-sufficiency also in decline.

Professors Millstone, Lang and Marsden say their report is a wake-up call to the public and a Government that has little experience of food negotiations and has failed to warn consumers of the disruptions ahead.

The report makes detailed recommendations for each of the 16 key issues explored. They call on the public, civil society and academics to put pressure on Government and MPs to:

  • Publish policy commitment to a low-impact, health-oriented UK food system
  • Create a new statutory framework for UK food, which authors term “One Nation Food”
  • Commit to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate agreement in any new food framework
  • Establish a new National Commission on Food and Agriculture to provide oversight and review, and to be a source of advice trusted by the British public.

Professor Marsden says: “The UK’s food system already faces unprecedented challenges on environment and jobs – we see real dangers that these are already being dislocated by Brexit uncertainties.”

Professor Millstone says: “Since the Brexit referendum UK food and agricultural policy has been in chaos. Not only have ministers yet to develop a strategy or make decisions, they have not even grasped the issues about which urgent decisions are needed. Unless things change rapidly, and in line with our recommendations, the UK will not only have policy chaos, the food system itself will become increasingly chaotic.”

Professor Lang adds: “At least the UK entered World War Two with emergency plans. No-one has warned the public that a Food Brexit carries real risks of disruption to sources, prices and quality. There is solid evidence about vulnerabilities ranging from diet-related ill-health to ecosystems stress. Food is the biggest slice of EU-related regulations and laws, yet so far the Government has only sketchily flagged a new Agriculture Act and Fisheries Act in the Queen’s Speech.”

Professor Lang elaborates: “British consumers spend £201 billion on food a year, with the entire food chain contributing about £110 billion gross value added (GVA). Of this, agriculture accounts for less than £9 billion GVA, and fisheries £0.7 billion GVA. The Government has provided next to no details on agriculture and fisheries, and there has been total silence on the rest of the food chain where most employment, value adding and consumer choice are made. With the Brexit deadline in 20 months, this is a serious policy failure on an unprecedented scale. Anyone would think they want a drop into the World Trade Organisation abyss.”

About Author

mike

mike

Related Articles



Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • September 11, 2017drinktec
  • September 13, 2017FI Asia
  • September 19, 2017PROCESS EXPO 2017
  • September 22, 2017Global Summit on Food & Beverages
AEC v1.0.4

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

Advertisements