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Brexit: Imported food must meet British standards in future trade deal
Future trade deal of imported food products is analysed in the inquiry.
Inquiry into the Agricultural Bill takes place

An inquiry has taken place alongside the Agriculture Bill which investigates the provisions needed by the agriculture industry after Brexit.

Three key areas of the Agriculture Bill are focused on: future trade deals, fairness in the supply chain and the transition from the EU common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to a new system.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, who are leading the inquiry, is urging the government to “put its money where its mouth is” and accept that imported food products as part of any future trade deal must meet or exceed British standards regarding the environment, production and animal welfare.

Further conclusions by the committee include the recommendation that the proposed fair dealing obligations for first purchasers of agricultural products should be overseen by the Groceries Code Adjudicator, rather than the Rural Payments Agency.

The committee also noted its disappointment that it was not given the opportunity to analyse the Agricultural Bill before legislation was passed.

Comments from the chair

The chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Neil Parish MP, said:

“The United Kingdom currently has exceptionally high environmental and food standards and an internationally recognised approach to animal welfare. This legacy cannot be ripped apart by the introduction of cheap, low-quality goods following our exit from the European Union.

“Our suggested amendment calls for agricultural goods to be imported into the UK only if the standards to which those goods were produced are as high as, or higher than, current UK standards.”

The full analysis of the Agricultural Bill can be read here.

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
British sheep meat to be exported to India in new agreement

The UK government has secured a new export deal of sheep meat to India.

In 2017, UK sheep meat exports were worth £386 million. This new agreement is predicted to increase this value by £6 million over the next five years.

With a range of meat cuts due to be exported, the deal is seen by international trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP, as “another vote of confidence in our world-leading food and drink”.