Brexit has been a key topic of discussion since the EU referendum in 2016 and there has been an overwhelming sense of uncertainty and lack of clarity for the red meat sector.
SAMW president Frank Clark outlined during his speech that the industry needs immediate action.
“We need to know now where we’re going to end up the day after March 29 2019,” Clark said. “We need to know now what’s going to happen during the 21 months of transition that will follow the UK’s midnight exit point from the EU on that day. We need to know now what the months and years following December 31 2020, will offer us as business owners, managers, regulators and product promoters.”
The ‘Brexit Now’ conference was designed for participants to explore trade and market opportunities beyond Brexit and consider the implications for the red meat processing sector.
GlobalMeatNews looks back at some of the highlights during the conference including key quotes from the speakers.
Peter Hardwick, director of exports at AHDB
“Agriculture is challenging, it’s the real sticking-block.”
“The issue is that meat is one of the highest agricultural tariffs.”
“Resources are being ramped up with international trade.”
“If the UK lowers its trade tariffs, it needs to be on a non-discriminatory basis.”
Lord Ian Duncan, parliamentary under-secretary of state for the Scotland Office
“We are the most important market to the EU.”
“Things grind very slowly in the EU.”
Richard Brown, director of Gira consultancy
“Politics interferes with the world of meat.”
“Who is going to invest in such an uncertain market?”
“China is incredibly important to the world meat market.”
ASF (African swine fever) is a troublesome term and it will be extremely disruptive.”
“Meat alternatives is a ‘noisy’ subject especially with the American market.”
Lucy Chapman, insight director at Kantar Worldpanel
“Despite vegetarianism remaining relatively static, the number of meat-free meals has accelerated.”
“Consumers are worried and feeling the pressure, but there is a place for high-quality, well-priced Scottish meat.”
“The health benefits of protein can help us to win with health in our categories.”