EFRA Committee stands firm on food trade standards
Members of the cross-party EFRA Committee have tabled an amendment to the Agriculture Bill, calling on Government to enshrine commitments to upholding food standards in law.
It follows a Committee hearing with representatives from the agriculture, animal welfare and trade sectors, in which MPs took evidence on how the UK can ensure that imports under new trade agreements are produced to the high animal welfare and environmental standards expected by the public.
The amendment, reiterating the points made in a 2018 EFRA Committee report on the Agriculture Bill, will ensure that food products imported as part of any future trade deal meet or exceed British standards relating to production, animal welfare and the environment.
Neil Parish, chair of the EFRA Committee, said: “British consumers rightfully expect that the food we eat is produced to very high standards. The evidence the Committee heard this week highlighted that the negotiation of new free trade deals present exciting opportunities to uphold and even boost our high production standards, but the Government must ensure that consumer preferences for environmentally-friendly and humanely produced foods are respected.
“Lowering food production standards should not be a bargaining chip to be used in future trade deals – allowing imports to be produced in ways that are illegal here would severely undercut British farmers. For these reasons, we are calling on the Government to uphold its commitments by amending the Agriculture Bill.”