UK's food industry: 'Access to single market and labour vital'


In brief...

- UK’s largest food producers call for continued access to labour and best possible Single Market access after Brexit

- 75 of the UK’s largest food producing organisations – with a turnover of more than £92 billion and employing almost a million people – come together for the first time

- Letter to the Prime Minister calls on Government to realise the opportunities of Brexit for UK’s largest manufacturing sector

The largest-ever coalition of UK food producers has come together to call for tariff-free access to the Single Market and continued access to a competent and reliable workforce, in order for British food and farming to flourish post-Brexit. 

In a letter to the Prime Minister coordinated by the UK’s farming unions, 75 organisations have pledged support for a positive, bold and ambitious vision for the sector post-Brexit. But they also signal that food security, food safety and hygiene, stewardship of the countryside and affordable food is at risk if Ministers fail to deliver continued access to labour and the best possible Single Market access. Read the letter here.

See how the coalition made media waves today here.

The organisations represent some of the UK’s best known companies, with a turnover of more than £92 billion and employing almost a million people. Signatories include Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Dairy Crest, Morrisons, Müller and Weetabix, and scores of other organisations representing food production from farm to fork.

Food production is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, bigger than the automotive and aerospace sectors combined. The letter argues that a Brexit settlement which recognises the critical role of the UK food chain will demonstrate how Brexit can be beneficial for the UK economy as well as UK food production.

The letter makes clear that Britain’s farmers and food producers stand ready to work with the Government and calls on the Prime Minister to put Britain’s food at the centre of Brexit negotiations.

Commenting on the letter, NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “Brexit creates an enormous opportunity for farming, food production and for Britain. But to deliver this new future, we must secure the best possible access to the Single Market and continued access to a competent and reliable workforce. Getting this right will set the foundations for a successful new British agricultural policy.

“Agriculture is a litmus-test for the Government’s Brexit negotiations. As the sector most heavily impacted by the referendum outcome, if the Government can make British farming a success post-Brexit then it will be the clearest indication that the country can succeed outside Europe.”

The NFU’s vision for the sector has also been published. Read it here.

Who signed the letter?

2 Sisters Food group
AB Connect part of AB Agri
ABP Food Group UK
AH Worth & Co Ltd
Arla Foods UK plc
Baileys Turkeys Ltd
Berry Gardens
BerryWorld Ltd
Branston Holdings Ltd
Bumble Hole Foods Ltd
C&J Meats
Capestone Organic Poultry Ltd
Cargill, Incorporated.
Chippindale Foods
Cobb Vantress Europe Ltd
Cobrey Farms
Country Land and Business Association Ltd
Crosse & Blackwell
Dairy Crest Ltd
Dawn Meats
Dovecote Park Ltd
Euro Quality Lambs Ltd

Eurostock Food Group
Fayrefield Foods
Foyle Food Group Ltd
Fresca Group Ltd
Graham’s Family Dairy
G’s Growers Ltd
Hewitts’ Wholesales
Hillier Nurseries Ltd
Humphrey Farms Ltd
Hy-line UK Ltd
Joice and Hill
J Sainsbury PLC
Kelly Turkeys
Lactalis McLelland UK
Linden Food Group
Marks and Spencer plc
Mash Direct Ltd
Meadow Foods Ltd
M.H. Poskitt Ltd
Monaghan Mushrooms
Müller UK & Ireland
Muntons plc
Natures Way Foods Ltd
Neame Lea Nursery Ltd

Noble Foods Ltd
Northern Ireland Meat Exporters' Association
Oakland Farm Eggs Ltd
PD Hook / Hook 2 Sisters
Poupart Produce
Produce World Group Ltd
Puffin Produce Ltd
Randall Parker Food Group
Riviera Produce Ltd
Scotbeef Ltd
South Caernarfon Creameries Ltd
Sunrise Poultry Farms Ltd
The Newey Group
Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd
Valefresco Ltd
WD Meats
Weetabix Ltd
Withers Farm
Wm Morrisons Supermarkets plc (inconjunction with Woodheads)
Wyke Farms