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Agri-Food Industry Calls for Enhanced No-Deal Contingency Measures

Copa-Cogeca Brexit Taskforce Chairman, Alo Duffy, together with representatives from CELCAA (the European agri-food traders association) and FoodDrinkEurope (the European Food Industry Confederation), met with Michel Barnier and his team. The joint industry delegation called on the Commission lead negotiator to consider unilateral contingency measures for the agri-food sector, to help mitigate the devastating impact of a no-deal Brexit.

At the meeting, which took place on the 4th February, Mr. Duffy stressed that a period of transition will be needed in the event of a no-deal, whereby authorities would take a pragmatic and flexible approach to trade with the UK for a period of 18-24 months, particularly in relation to customs, labelling and transport.

Mr. Duffy also called for direct aid from the Commission to address market disruption resulting from Brexit, through the utilisation of market management tools, in particular Private Storage Aid for butter and cheese, as well as trade promotion supports and structural and adjustment funding for products and businesses directly impacted.

The delegation highlighted that measures such as the possibility to clear agri-food products for export to the UK at the premises of the operator, temporary measures to facilitate label changes (as utilised at the beginning of the Russian import ban in 2014) and mutual recognition of food safety and phytosanitary certifications by the EU and UK, should be enabled in the event of a no-deal. They also called for co-ordinated efforts in Member States’ customs authorities and in training for businesses, in particular SMEs who will likely be trading internationally for the first time.

Read the full follow-up letter and technical note here: https://www.fooddrinkeurope.eu/uploads/press-releases_documentsLetter_to_Michel_Barnier_06022019.pdf

Alison Graham – European Affairs Executive