The International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, has formally launched the Trade and Agriculture Commission. It will ensure British food standards are upheld in any new trade deals and allow Borders farmers to seize new opportunities to export abroad.
The Commission was established to bring together stakeholders from across the industry. Members include Andrew McCornick of NFU Scotland, former Chief Veterinary Officer, Nigel Gibbens, and Ian Wright CBE of the Food and Drink Federation.
The UK Government will call on their expertise to advise on trade opportunities, improving animal welfare in farming across the world and advancing and protecting British consumer interests.
Scotland already exports £6.2bn in food and drink across the world and local MP, John Lamont, believes new trade deals will benefit Borders farmers even more.
John Lamont MP said: “The UK Government has always been clear that they will uphold our food standards in any new trade deals and the launch of this commission shows their commitment to that promise.
“It is really important that we get our trading opportunities in place as the UK becomes an independent trading nation once again after Brexit. The government is already working hard on striking new trade deals with countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
“Analysis by the Department for International Trade shows that Scotland could benefit the most from a trade deal with Japan which could boost UK trade annually by over £15bn. A trade deal with Japan will aim to increase opportunities for our beef and pork farmers and our cheese makers."
Secretary of State for International Trade, Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, 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.”