Rachel has welcomed the launch of the Trade & Agriculture Commission which will ensure the UK remains a world-leader in animal welfare and environmental standards.

As Britain takes control of its international trade policy, the Government will put British farming at its heart and ensure that the UK seizes new export opportunities for farmers in Redditch and across the country.

Animal welfare, consumer and environmental groups met with the Department for International Trade, at a formal launch last Tuesday (July 28th), to talk about how they can support the Trade and Agriculture Commission.

This is part of a major drive by International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, to engage the public and industry in decisions about the UK’s trade policy.

Chaired by Tim Smith – former head of the Food Standards Agency – the Commission will ensure the UK’s high standards are upheld and farmers are able to seize new opportunities to export their goods abroad. This will help the UK agriculture sector to be amongst the most competitive and innovative in the world.

The Commission was established to bring together stakeholders across the industry, calling on their expertise to advise on:

  • Trade policies the Government should adopt to secure opportunities for UK farmers, while ensuring the sector remains competitive and that animal welfare and environmental standards in food production are not undermined.
  • Advancing and protecting British consumer interests and those of developing countries.
  • How the UK engages the WTO to build a coalition that helps advance higher animal welfare standards across the world.
  • Developing trade policy that identifies and opens up new export opportunities for the UK agricultural industry – in particular for SMEs – and that benefits the UK economy as a whole.

The Commission reports directly to the International Trade Secretary and it will produce an advisory report at the end of its six months’ work.

Rachel said:

This Government has been clear it will not sign a trade deal that will compromise our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food safety standards. We are a world leader in these areas and that will not change. I wouldn’t vote for a trade deal which undermined or lowered these standards.

“I’ve met with farmers in my constituency and I now they will welcome having a greater say in the UK’s trade policy and ensuring they benefit from our independent trade policy.”

International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, said:

“We’re stepping up our engagement with all the groups who have an interest in Britain’s agriculture trade policy. The Trade and Agriculture Commission will ensure the voices of the public and industry are heard, and that their interests are advanced and protected. It will advise the government on how Britain can remain a world-leader in animal welfare and environmental standards, and how we can seize new export opportunities for our farmers.

“This is about putting British farming at the heart of our trade policy and ensuring that our agriculture industry is amongst the most competitive and innovative in the world.”