NFU responds to CPTPP trade agreement

31 March 2023

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The government has announced that it has signed a deal to join the CPTPP trade bloc.

Responding to the CPTPP trade agreement, NFU President Minette Batters said: “Joining the CPTPP could provide some good opportunities to get more fantastic British food on plates overseas. 

“Compared to the deals struck with Australia and New Zealand, I am pleased to see that the Prime Minister has stuck to his word and the government has negotiated a far more considered and balanced outcome, particularly with respect to managing market access in our most vulnerable sectors. I will continue to press government to ensure its domestic policies are aimed at improving the competitiveness of British farming and strengthening our domestic food security. 

“I am pleased that our government continues to maintain its commitment to our food safety standards. It is an absolute red line for us that food produced using practices that are illegal here – for instance, the use of hormones in beef and pork production and chemical washes for carcases – should not be allowed on our market.”

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Australia and New Zealand have already been granted unlimited access, phased in over time, to the UK’s prized agri-food market for a range of products. Now the CPTPP countries, including major agricultural exporters such as Canada, Mexico and Chile will also be able to access that further under preferential terms of trade.  

The NFU has an ambition to grow our food exports by 30% by the end of the decade. Joining the CPTPP could offer opportunities to grow our dairy exports to the Americas, poultry to Vietnam, and sheep meat to Malaysia.

We made progress with the establishment of the Trade and Agriculture Commission, but alongside the TAC we called for a set of “core standards” for food imports. We have heard nothing from government on this, which is a concern shared by bodies across the farming, animal welfare and environmental sectors.