Pig Sector: BMPA Pork Supply Chain Report

British Meat Processors Association
British Meat Processors Association

Forget queues at the ports, our lorries won’t even make it out of the factory

Michael Gove’s warnings of two-day lorry queues at our ports describe just one part of the problem exporters will face on 31 December. After that date, every single consignment of meat or meat-based products, from steaks and sausages to beef curries and Hawaiian pizzas will need an Official Veterinarian to inspect it and sign an Export Health Certificate before it can leave the factory.

Problem is: Britain doesn’t have enough vets.

Until now, only a small fraction of total overseas consignments have needed a Vet inspection (those going to non-EU countries). After 31 December, every small, just-in-time mixed load of products to the EU will need one.

The Government has known about this since the Brexit vote in 2016 and yet, less than 100 days out from the end of the Transition Period, they still can’t tell us how they are going to resolve this.

Worse, Michael Gove in a leaked letter to industry bodies this week seems to be preparing to lay the blame with industry for not being properly prepared.

Nick Allen, Chief Executive of The British Meat Processors Association said: “We have been pressing the Government for three years now to lay out the details of exactly how these barriers to trade will be dealt with. They have known since the beginning that we will need an army of extra qualified vets to cope with the 500% increase in workload”.

Mr Allen added that “all the guidance in the world is useless if we are not able to complete required export paperwork because of a chronic shortage of vets. If this is not addressed, £175 million per month of meat exports will be at risk”.

“The bottom line is that British companies cannot prepare effectively for Brexit because the UK Government is not keeping to its side of the bargain by putting in place the right measures and resources and failing to give us the answers we desperately need”. 

About BMPA

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

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The government has listened to meat industry warnings and pushed this plan back 12 months — more reality in face of post-#brexit regulatory enforcement capacity constraints.

https://britishmeatindustry.org/updates/defra-agree-to-move-new-rule-deadline-by-one-year/ https://twitter.com/pmdfoster/status/1587000818875744264

Huge relief that Defra has agreed to postpone new export rules by one year.
But there's still work to be done, and BMPA is looking forward to working with them to help devise a new system that's going to be needed to implement the new rules successfully.
👉https://bit.ly/3tFPt1j

This leaked letter from George Eustice comes as no surprise. But what else are we currently capitulating on?

Our warnings about the Oz trade deal went unheeded
👉https://bit.ly/3Uzfawc

Other countries have sector experts inside the tent during negotiations.....The UK doesn't.