NFU, FDF and BRC announces joint priorities for UK trade policy

London, 2017-Mar-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — We have joined with the National Farmers Union of England and Wales (NFU) and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) to outline our joint priorities for UK trade policy.

The statement, which has been sent to the Secretary of States and Ministers at the Department for Exiting the European Union, the Department for International Trade, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, addresses the strategic importance for the UK of the food supply chain and builds consensus around a number of priority areas for trade. The food supply chain not only employs almost four million people and generates over £100 billion of value for the economy each year, but keeps the nation fed: ensuring consumers have access to a wide range of nutritional, quality foods at affordable prices.

Joint statement on trade

The UK’s food supply chain – farmers, food and drink manufacturers and retailers – keeps the nation fed, ensuring consumers have access to a wide range of nutritional, quality foods at affordable prices. As the process of leaving the EU develops, the food supply chain will work together to ensure that our consumers continue to enjoy great quality, choice and value.

The UK food supply chain employs 3.9m people from farming through manufacturing to retail and food service and generates £108bn in value.

Much of the food supply chain is domestically based, and our organisations are committed to domestic production that is competitive and profitable and fully meets the demands of British consumers.

Nevertheless, we cannot operate in isolation. Our farmers need imported feed and inputs and they need access to other markets for their products, especially where demand for these in the UK is insufficient. Our food and drink manufacturers rely on exports to grow their businesses and imports to complement their use of domestically produced ingredients and raw materials. Our retailers need access to a full range of goods all year round to balance seasonality and meet consumer demand.

The regulatory framework that governs this international trade therefore matters to all of us, both in strengthening and supporting UK producers in domestic and foreign markets, and in affording UK consumers and the agri-food and drink industry the benefits of freer trade with overseas partners.

Currently, that framework is determined by the EU, internally through the Single Market and Customs Union, externally through the EU’s Common Commercial Policy. The Prime Minister has made clear that these arrangements will change when the UK leaves the EU.

The new framework for the UK’s trading relations will be determined in part through negotiation with the EU, in part through negotiations with other countries and in part by the UK acting alone. In these distinct areas we call on the government to adopt an approach that will ensure stability and continuity for agri-food and drink businesses by:

  • First of all, ensuring a smooth and orderly Brexit by agreeing transitional arrangements that maintain frictionless trade in goods between the UK and the EU, avoiding costly and disruptive customs checks, processes and procedures
  • In the medium term, avoiding customs duties on trade by securing an ambitious bilateral free trade agreement with the EU that delivers two-way tariff-free trade
  • Establishing the UK as an independent member of WTO, providing continuity and predictability by adopting the EU’s current schedule of Most Favoured Nation bound tariff rates
  • Securing the benefits for UK traders of existing EU preferential trade arrangements, including the UK’s fair share of tariff rate quotas for agricultural imports, as well as of any preferential access for UK food and drink exports, at least until government can replace them with acceptable alternative arrangements.
  • Engaging in formal trade negotiations with third countries when the terms of the UK’s future trading relations with the EU and other existing preferential trading partners are clear
  • Establishing cooperation with third countries on regulatory equivalence and ensuring that all new trade agreements take into consideration differences in regulations and standards when market access is negotiated
  • Consulting with stakeholders and undertaking detailed economic impact assessments when trade negotiations are opened and before any offers are exchanged.

Contact:

BRC Press Office
TELEPHONE: + 44 (0) 20 7854 8924
EMAIL: media@brc.org.uk

Source: BRC

BRC, FDF, SSA launches new guidance for food companies on use of culinary dried herbs and spices

LONDON, 2016-Jun-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — A new resource launched today will provide food companies that use culinary dried herbs and spices with industry best practice guidance on assessing and protecting the authenticity of these products.

Food companies will be able to use the practical guidance to ensure that they have the appropriate measures in place to play their role in assuring the integrity of these products. The guide was developed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and Seasoning and Spice Association (SSA) in liaison with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

Kerina Cheesman, Policy and Food Integrity Manager at FDF, said:
“Culinary dried herbs and spices are widely used ingredients. This guide, developed in partnership with regulators, draws on industry expertise to provide food businesses across the supply chain with practical guidance so that they can confidently play their part in assuring the integrity of these ingredients.”

Elizabeth Andoh-Kesson, Food Policy Advisor at the British Retail Consortium, said:
“This is a really important, practical guide for all food businesses to improve the way they manage a potentially vulnerable supply chain. It was great to collaborate with experts from manufacturers and suppliers to make a positive contribution to securing the supply chain and reinforcing consumer confidence.”

Steve Clemenson, Chair Joint Industry Working Group, said
“The Seasoning and Spice Association (SSA) is very pleased with the publication of Industry Best Practice Guidance to Assessing and Protecting the Authenticity of Culinary Dried Herbs.

The development of this document was decided following the Global Chain Analysis Workshop organised by the FSA (February 2015), in collaboration with FDF and BRC. It provides in-depth expertise and advice from SSA Members to assist companies using herbs and spices in understanding their role in assuring the integrity of their products”

– ENDS –

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Zoe Maddison
Communications Assistant
British Retail Consortium
T: +44 (0)20 7854 8953

Tim Horan
Media and Campaigns Officer
Food and Drink Federation
T: +44 (0) 20 7420 7131

Notes for editors:
1. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is the UK’s largest retail trade association. It represents the full range of retailers, large and small, multiples and independents, food and non-food online and store based.
2. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK’s largest manufacturing sector. For more information about FDF and the industry we represent, visit: www.fdf.org.uk
3. The Seasoning and Spice Association (SSA) is the leading voice of the UK seasoning and spice industry and represents the interests of its members in all aspects of the import, processing and distribution of seasonings, herbs, spices and related products.