Pig farmers demand “fair deal” from post-Brexit negotiations

A call for the pig sector to be given “a fair deal” as post-Brexit negotiations begin to be stepped up, has been made to the Government by NPA chairman, Richard Lister.

Speaking after taking part in Brexit discussions on Thursday with Defra Ministers, including Secretary of State, Andrea Leadsom, Mr Lister stressed that while export access was important, the biggest concern for the pig sector was the domestic market.

“We are well used to being an unsubsidised sector operating in the free market of the EU,” he said, “but we have also been protected from cheaper, lower standard third country imports by EU tariffs.”

As such, he continued, NPA would be very worried about the impact on producers and consumers of tariff-free trade with the big pigmeat exporters like Brazil and the US.

“I made this point strongly and stressed our points of difference, notably on Red Tractor and welfare,” he said, adding that such factors must be used as barriers to imported pigmeat.

The NPA chairman also raised the association’s concerns over the ability of the UK to protect itself from exotic disease outside the EU.

“We need to ensure we have strict import protocols and that the Government takes its responsibility on protecting our borders seriously,” he said.

Discussions also covered the question of what replaces the CAP, including the possible use of funding under future domestic farm support policies, for investment in buildings and equipment.

“That would be a win for everybody,” said Mr Lister (pictured above). “The pig industry needs to invest to improve animal health and welfare and address issues like antibiotic resistance (AMR), all of which would represent good use of public funding.”

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