Established in 2020, the TAC was established to advise the Secretary of State for International Trade on how to secure opportunities for UK farmers, while not undermining standards, taking account of the interests of consumers. Chaired by former Food Standards Agency chief executive Tim Smith, its membership includes representatives from across agriculture, retail, consumer, hospitality, animal health and environment.
The report sets out a vision for the UK’s trade policy and recommends action in five key areas:
Developing an ambitious agri-food trade strategy
Strong international leadership by the UK
Strengthening the UK’s approach to free trade agreements
Focussing more energy and resource into export promotion, market access, and marketing
Aligning trade, aid, and climate policies, relating to agri-food.
Whilst the Commission backs the government’s policy to liberalise trade in food and agriculture with third countries, it also highlighted the importance of maintaining the UK’s high food and environmental standards.
Kate Thompson, Director CIEH Wales, said:
“We are happy to see the commission set a balanced approach to liberalising trade and protecting British industries with strong areas of action for a long-term plan.
The report highlights that UK food standards must not be compromised as we move to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and sets out clear recommendations of how the UK government should move forwards.
It also importantly incorporates the UK’s climate commitments, which will allow it to show its progressive and inclusive approach to trade ahead of the COP26.”
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