UK to continue exporting agricultural products to EU

8 Jan 2021

Despite the UK officially leaving the European Union, the island nation will still be able to continue exporting meat fish and dairy to the continent. Late last month, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) granted the UK Third Country status which permits the export of animal products. Equines are also eligible for movement between the UK and the EU with this designation.

After meeting the required animal health and biosecurity standards necessary to receive Third Country status, the UK can continue moving food to Northern Ireland as well as the rest of continental Europe. A week before the country’s transition period ending on Dec. 31, the government agreed on what Prime Minister Boris Johnson called a “Canada style” agreement that allows the UK to avoid tariffs and quotas. Fishing rights for the two separate economic zones remain under negotiation.

UK to continue exporting agricultural products to EU
Image via Markus Spiske on Unsplash

However, Politico reported that potatoes were excluded from the list of products that are permissible for export since Brussels determined that the standards maintained in the UK for the product were not “dynamically aligned” with the standards in the EU. This exclusion affects farmers that reside primarily in Scotland and the north of England but accounts for £90 million worth of seed potatoes annually, one-fifth of which is exported to the European Union.

While this step in the Brexit negotiations more closely paralleled the relationship between the two countries, farmers in England accused the new status as lacking in “crucial information.” Food Navigator reported that industry representatives criticized the decision as lacking in details, including whether additional guarantees on Export Health Certificates for animals of UK origin will be required. The Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association also said that additional clarity was needed around bureaucracy and dispute resolution.

Although there will be few financial ramifications according to the agreement struck between the two economic zones, members of the UK will need to provide the same level of paperwork and labeling when exporting to the Republic of Ireland as they would to the EU. However, as the EU is the largest trading partner for the UK, a tariff-free agreement is a crucial decision for the industry that will be greatly affected by the finalization of the Brexit transition.

Trade of agri-food products between the EU and the UK is immense. According to the European Commission, the value of exports between the two entities came to €41 billion.

The transition to a UK outside of Europe has been a long, arduous journey, and Mella Frewen, the director general of FoodDrinkEurope told Food Manufacturer that at this stage, “failure to more quickly will lead to more, broader chaos and supply chain disruption that will not only put thousands of jobs at risk but also impact the safe supply of affordable agri-food products to customers.”

Related news

Singapore becomes first country to approve lab-grown meat

Singapore becomes first country to approve lab-grown meat

4 Jan 2021

The Singapore Food Agency, the city state’s regulatory body for food, approved San Francisco startup Eat Just’s cell-based meat chicken product, paving the way for its sale in the country.

Read more 
The Cocoa Barometer report shows few improvements in cocoa industry

The Cocoa Barometer report shows few improvements in cocoa industry

17 Dec 2020

Despite 20 years of rhetoric from companies promising to undertake initiatives that will increase the standard of living for farmers in cocoa-producing countries as well as mitigate the environmental impacts associated with cocoa production in regions ...

Read more 
Chobani coconut yogurt is now Fair Trade certified

Chobani coconut yogurt is now Fair Trade certified

16 Dec 2020

Greek yogurt maker Chobani announced that its coconut yogurt blends are now made with Fair Trade Certified coconuts, saying that it is the first national brand to earn this certification for a coconut blend in the yogurt aisle. The Fair Trade Certified...

Read more 
Finnish coffee brand Meira launches a bio-based sustainable cup

Finnish coffee brand Meira launches a bio-based sustainable cup

11 Dec 2020

Helsinki-based coffee roaster Meira released a new line of coffee called Vallilan Paahtimo with the aim of offering a more sustainable cup of coffee – both inside and out. The coffee is a single-origin, sustainably grown variety that is then packaged i...

Read more 
Swiss panel releases diet recommendations to support immunity during pandemic

Swiss panel releases diet recommendations to support immunity during pandemic

4 Nov 2020

It’s no secret that diet can aid in one’s overall health, but an expert panel in collaboration with the Swiss Society of Nutrition has defined a particular cocktail of micronutrients to support a well-functioning immune system with a special focus on C...

Read more 
In Ireland, Subway’s sandwich rolls are not legally bread

In Ireland, Subway’s sandwich rolls are not legally bread

13 Oct 2020

The Irish Supreme Court ruled that Subway bread is not legally considered as such. Instead, its sugar content, which is five times above what Irish law specifies as the acceptable threshold for bread, lands the company’s sandwich rolls in the confectio...

Read more 
U.K. begins exporting beef to the U.S. for the first time since 1996

U.K. begins exporting beef to the U.S. for the first time since 1996

12 Oct 2020

After over two decades of prohibiting the importation of beef into the U.S. from the U.K., the government of the United States lifted the ban this October to allow for U.K. beef producers to trade across The Pond.

Read more 
Indian trade association calls to waive license renewals for food businesses

Indian trade association calls to waive license renewals for food businesses

2 Oct 2020

As the lingering pandemic continues to upend routine business practices the world over, Indian trade association, the Federation of All India Vyapar Mandal, is requesting that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) not require license...

Read more 
Tesco partners with Olio to reduce food waste in U.K.

Tesco partners with Olio to reduce food waste in U.K.

1 Oct 2020

Tesco is partnering with the food sharing app Olio to redistribute surplus food nearing its sell-by date from its stores to local communities and individuals that are food insecure. The two companies will roll out this effort across all of Tesco’s 2,70...

Read more 
Germany working to impose human rights and environmental supply chain protections by 2021

Germany working to impose human rights and environmental supply chain protections by 2021

25 Aug 2020

Germany is taking the lead on human rights and environmental protections in the European Union. The country plans to pass a Supply Chain Law that will oblige companies to analyze whether their business activities have an adverse effect on recognized hu...

Read more