The NPA has laid out its priorities on trade, access to labour and a future domestic farm policy in a submission to a House of Lords inquiry into Brexit.
The Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee is one of a number of Parliamentary committees undertaking an inquiry into the implications for agriculture of the vote to leave the EU.
In a detailed six-page submission, the NPA outlines its concerns and priorities in key policy areas and offers suggestions as to how the Government could help.
On trade, the document, put together by policy services officer Lizzie Wilson, states:
“NPA seeks assurances the British pig industry will not be disadvantaged in any way during trade negotiations, particularly with regards to agreements on tariffs and trade barriers for imports and exports.”
It stresses that the pig sector can ‘ill afford to be undermined by cheaper, welfare inferior imports resulting from free trade’.
“Examples of illegal practices outside the UK include use of Ractopamine, antibiotics for growth promotion, weaning at 3 weeks of age or less (as per USA, Canada and Brazil) and sow stalls outside of the EU, all of which would competitively disadvantage domestic pig producers,” it says.
It highlightes the findings from an NPA online survey on EU migrant labour indicating that one in five farms and businesses connected to the pig industry would struggle to survive without migrant labour. The survey showed 58 per cent of businesses employed at least one migrant worker, with 9 per cent employing between 11 and 50 and 2 per cent more than 50.
The document NPA warns any restriction on the movement of people into the UK preventing access to the necessary labour required ‘will negatively impact the industry’.
And on Farming Minister George Eustice’s plans for a farm policy that incentivises higher welfare livestock production systems, the document insists such a scheme must not ‘not unfairly disadvantage certain farmers’.
The NPA also wants to be involved in discussions to ensure it does not clash with ‘the desire of Government and the entire supply chain to drive efficiency and productivity whilst reducing antibiotic use’.
For more on this story, go to the NPA website