Letter: Agri-food can come together on Brexit issues


Dear Sir,
Since our member consultation, food processors and others in the supply chain have signalled their strong support for our calls on full, unfettered access to the EU’s single market and also a competent and reliable workforce.

A meeting this week with some of the UK’s biggest food processors echoed this. It was a positive step forward in our efforts to amplify the voice for the food and farming sector post-Brexit.

Establishing common ground with other strong voices in the sector is hugely important in underlining the importance of British food and farming as Brexit negotiations take place. The UK farming unions - NFU, NFU Cymru, NFUS and UFU - together represent over 70,000 UK farmers. This combined strength is vital now in ensuring that our farming and food production has a profitable, resilient and positive future in the years to come. 

Retaining tariff-free access to the single market as well as a reliable competent workforce are both essential for the UK’s biggest manufacturing industry, food and drink, in delivering for the economy, for the countryside and in feeding the nation and playing a part in feeding the world.

This week’s meeting has given me confidence that the agri-food industry can come together to speak with one voice on these crucial issues. The UK farming unions have a bold and ambitious vision reaffirmed by an extensive consultation with the farmers on ground; those whose businesses will be impacted by Brexit. And we’ll continue to work to ensure the positive opportunity that Brexit represents for our members is grabbed with both hands.