Brexit issues must be urgently addressed for meat sector, says BMPA
Unless a number of key issues are urgently addressed, £1.2 billion of annual meat exports will be at risk along with thousands of jobs in the meat and livestock sector, according to BMPA.
The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has launched a new campaign to ‘expose the glaring weaknesses in Brexit preparations’ which it says will put the meat industry at risk if not action is taken. Despite recent reassurances from Prime Minister Boris Johnson that “we’re ready for any eventuality”, BMPA stated that many key issues remain unresolved.
“After months of meetings and talks with Government which have yielded little progress, the British meat industry, along with other sectors that rely on overseas trade, has lost patience and we are calling publicly for Government to step up the pace and solve these issues before it is too late,” said BMPA Chief Executive, Nick Allen.
“With less than four months to go, Britain has a woeful lack of infrastructure and people to operate the new export system which if not addressed, will result in massive delays, extra cost and lost orders.”
BMPA suggested that the following will need to happen regardless of whether or not a deal is agreed:
- Firm assurances from Government that the new Export Health Certificate system will be up and running at full capacity by the end of the year
- More trained vets in the UK to cover the additional inspection workload and information from the Government as to how they are going to resolve this issue
- Definitive confirmation that the new Government proposed Health Marks, which are used to certify the export standard, have been agreed with all our trading partners
- Groupage (the convenience of mixed loads of products) – Deliveries of meat destined for the EU currently makes use of the fact that small, regular consignments can be grouped together into big ones and sent off on a daily basis.
“Our message to the Government is that This is NOT Good Enough. They have had four years to prepare and have known all along that these technical issues will need to be addressed regardless of whether or not we get a deal. We’re now less than four months from the end of the transition period and we can’t stay silent on the lack of progress any longer,” BMPA wrote in a statement.