The pig industry’s allied businesses have vowed to support producers over the coming months as the uncertainty over Brexit casts a shadow over the sector.
With less than two months before our due departure date, Prime Minister Theresa May is still trying to re-negotiate her Brexit Withdrawal Agreement with the EU in order to come up with something MPs could back. The EU, so far, has refused to budge.
While substantial efforts will be made to avoid a no deal, including suggestions Brexit could be delayed if necessary, the prospect looms ever larger. Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference, Defra Secretary Michael Gove warned of the potentially ‘severe’ implications for farmers of a no deal Brexit and said the industry could not be ‘blasé’ about it.
NFU president Minette Batters said the scenario would be ‘catastrophic’ for farmers.
The implications of a no deal were discussed at NPA Producer Group and Allied Industry Group meetings in January. Afterwards, AIG chairman Hugh Crabtree issued a statement on behalf of the group.
“With under 60 days until the UK’s departure from the EU, it is clear from our day to day contact with pig producers, that uncertainty over the future trading relationship is having an unsettling affect,” he said.
“Despite this uncertainty, our message to pig producers is clear: Whatever happens over the coming months, as a group of allied businesses to the UK’s pig producers supplying feed, medicines, buildings, equipment, veterinary and marketing services, we are here to support and work with our customers and minimise any disruption to their business, as best we can.
“The UK pig sector has thrived on close working relationships between producers and allied businesses and Brexit, under whatever format, will not change this.”