The New Commission represents farmers, retailers and consumers from across UK and is chaired by Tim Smith, former head of the Food Standards Agency. Members include NFU but also include consumer groups, retailers and farming unions from across the UK.
It will advise Government on how to seize new export opportunities, while ensuring animal welfare and environmental standards in food production are not undermined.
The Commission will advise on trade policy that will help boost the East of England’s food and drink exports. The East of England region exported over £2bn worth of food and drink in 2018 and currently employs 36,000 people.
It will report directly to International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, advising on:
· Trade policies the Government should adopt to secure opportunities for UK farmers, while ensuring the sector remains competitive and that animal welfare and environmental standards in food production are not undermined.
· Advancing and protecting consumer interests and those of developing countries.
· How the UK engages the WTO to build a coalition that helps advance higher animal welfare standards across the world.
· Developing trade policy that identifies and opens up new export opportunities for the UK agricultural industry – in particular for SMEs – and that benefits the UK economy as a whole.
Minette Batters, President of NFU England, said:
“Today’s announcement is a hugely important development in ensuring UK farming’s high standards of animal welfare and environmental protection are not undermined in future trade deals. It addresses a crucial element of a much broader challenge in ensuring the UK’s trade policy delivers a prosperous and sustainable future for UK agriculture.
“This means securing trade deals that work for UK farmers and consumers, as well as our farmed animals and our environment, and we will continue to work with Parliamentarians so that they have proper oversight of our trade policy. All of this will be underpinned by the important work of the Trade and Agriculture Commission in the months ahead, and the NFU stands ready to contribute its technical expertise so that the Commission can do this job as quickly and robustly as possible.”