British Meat Processors Association
British Meat Processors Association

Reaction to the Migration Advisory Committee Report

The proposals in the Migration Advisory Committee report issued on the 18th September fail to suggest solutions that would ensure the UK’s meat processing industry would continue to have access to EU workers across the full range of skill levels.

The agri-food industry requires a constant supply of multi-skilled labour to fill both seasonal and permanent vacancies. Putting a stop to this pipeline will jeopardise the future viability of many businesses and encourage them to move production offshore.

We are against an arbitrary immigration cap and will continue to work with the Government to ensure post-Brexit immigration policy is as flexible as possible.

We want to see the supply of migrant labour to rural businesses maintained and increased to boost growth and productivity. These workers are critical and without them the rural economy will struggle to survive.

Some of the suggestions contained in the report will undoubtedly help, including widening the range of jobs permitted within the Tier 2 visa system, removing the resident labour market test (which has consistently proved futile in the meat sector), and abolishing a cap on the numbers of employees within this tier.

However these amendments to the Tier 2 visa system alone will not offer our industry the flexibility needed to employ reactively.

Any system that curbs the ability of businesses to grow or adapt to changing consumer demand will create uneven wage pressures and may increase the cost of food and drink produced in the UK in the long-term.

It is essential that Government prioritises migration in EU negotiations to ensure UK food and drink manufacturers have access to the employees they need at all skill levels.

About BMPA

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

Latest

pencil erasing the UK's EU membership

Bordering on the ridiculous – Managing the UK’s autonomous beef tariff rate quota

The title isn’t original I know but it aptly describes...

map of Ireland

The Irish Border – Implications for the meat industry

Arrangements surrounding the Irish border post-Brexit have the potential to...

eggs in a box

Keep your friends close and your neighbours closer

I asked in my article ‘It Takes WTO to Tango’...

Beef cattle

The truth behind UK beef prices – do we have an unsustainable supply chain?

There has been much talk recently about low farmgate beef...

If you want an 'I didn't know that!' moment, have a listen to what @JoannaBlythman has to say (at 35mins) on the origins of veganism and the hidden environmental and human costs of eating certain foods like jackfruit and avocado.

This makes a lot of sense. The danger at the moment is that people's decisions are being driven by headline-grabbing claims flying around in the media and on social media, many of which are either factually incorrect or taken out of context.
We need a balanced, fact-based debate

Starting in 20 minutes at 9:30am. This is an important discussion with the right mix of people at the table to get a balanced view of what's happening.