British Meat Processors Association
British Meat Processors Association

Comment on the National Audit Office Report on Defra’s Progress to Date

Commenting on the National Audit Office Report published yesterday, Nick Allen, CEO of the British Meat Processors Association said: “Having been closely involved with Defra over the last year, we have been impressed with how quickly the department has risen to the challenge of expanding its workforce, drafting in new skills and getting on with the task of building new IT systems to cater for a no-deal scenario. However, there is still much work to be done and these preparations will most likely fall short of what is needed by March 2019.”

Mr Allen said that “A troubling detail in the NAO’s report is that Defra’s economists expect an increase of between 150% and 300% in the volume of Export Health Certificates that will need to be processed. This will need a commensurate increase in the number of veterinarians to handle the work.

“The extra recruitment necessary should have started in April 2018 but the department will now be forced to launch an emergency recruitment campaign (possibly in October) to bring on board more vets. It will be unlikely that they will find enough and so will have to plug the gaps with non-veterinarians to take on certain administrative tasks.’’

Nick Allen stressed that: “BMPA, whilst supportive of Defra’s considerable efforts, is frustrated that such delays are now placing in jeopardy so much of the British meat industry’s export potential”.

“The disruption that we could be facing will have drastic consequences for meat companies and contingency plans need to be prioritised if this industry is to avoid being seriously damaged by the fallout from a no-deal Brexit”

About BMPA

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) is the leading trade association for the meat and meat products industry in the UK.

Latest

Container ship heading into port

Is frictionless trade post Brexit achievable?

In the time it will take to read this article,...

illustration of big fish eyeing small fish

Tough times for british exporters But meat bucks the trend

In the first quarter, the UK trade deficit in goods...

Lars Hoelgaard - International trade expert

International trade expert offers a grim vision of a no-deal Brexit at BMPA Conference

At the recent BMPA Conference, delegates were offered a grim...

BMPA Conference 2019 discussion panel

BMPA Conference delivers a blunt reality check on post-Brexit trade deals

We were told to expect straight-talk at this year’s BMPA...

July @MeatManagement has just landed. Peter Hardwick has set readers a challenge to look at the top trading partners of countries like Singapore, China and Argentina. Answers via email.... He wants your feedback and will follow up with a second article

Watch out for Peter's next article in July @MeatManagement. He's set readers a challenge to look at the top trading partners of countries like Singapore, China, Argentina. Answers on a postcard please (or email).... He wants your feedback and will follow up with a second article