We need to turn short-term success into long-term gains
Published:  15 August, 2016

Charles SercombeThe livestock sector is already seeing the impact of the vote to leave the EU. Initially, the favourable exchange rate has helped support farm gate prices. 

But while short-term price impacts are welcome, I believe there are some areas of uncertainty.

The export trade is imperative for both beef and sheep. We want to keep markets open. We also want to ensure the live animal trade and genetics can continue across borders. At this stage, different trade scenarios are being talked about but we need to ensure we get a policy that recognises the impact imports can bring, and insist that food imports meet our high standards of welfare and traceability.

A new domestic agricultural policy is also a priority. From my perspective I want to see short-term certainty and policy measures that generate longer-term confidence and, ultimately, develop a strong and growing industry which avoids the status quo.

There must be a government commitment to a strong animal health policy which maintains surveillance, compensation and border controls. I also hope a new policy can support innovation within the sector.

In a post-Brexit world, it is important we work together as a whole agri-food industry, and I would welcome a conversation
with businesses in the red meat supply chain to outline what the NFU is doing and understand the views of other businesses on the key Brexit issues.