Food industry’s EU future: Should we stay or go?

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: United kingdom

Would Britain's food industry survive or thrive outside the EU? Conservative MP Stephen Barclay will offer a view at the Fengrain conference on November 7
Would Britain's food industry survive or thrive outside the EU? Conservative MP Stephen Barclay will offer a view at the Fengrain conference on November 7
The future of Britain’s food industry outside the EU will feature in a conference to be staged by grain marketing and storage co-operative Fengrain at the East of England Showground, Peterborough on November 7 2013.

Stephen Barclay, Conservative MP for North east Cambridge, will discuss how the nation and its food industry would fare if a decision was taken to leave the EU.

Prime minister David Cameron has promised a referendum on EU membership after the next election in 2015. But the increasingly influential UK Independence Party is pressing for a vote as soon as possible.

Fengrain’s first conference will focus on the use of land to grow combinable crops and environmental and supply chain management to meet consumers’ needs.

Tesco and United Biscuits

Tesco’s group technical director Tim Smith and United Biscuits’ group procurement director Ed Fuchs will both address the conference. Smith’s presentation will be entitled: ‘What are consumers’ priorities in their choice of food and what role is the retailer playing?’

Fuchs will discuss: ‘What are manufacturers doing to ensure security of their supply chain and credibility in food safety?’

Fengrain’s chairman Paul Wilkinson, who will lead the conference, said: “Our first conference will be held at a time when we know the results of the next harvest, while the legacy of the 2012 harvest has severely challenged the UK food supply industries, reset the boundaries, and raised many questions over what the future will look like both financially and ecologically.”

Other speakers include: Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City of University, Mark Buckingham, the UK corporate affairs lead at Monsanto, and Edward Flatman, the senior wheat breeder at Limagrain.

The conference will take place between 8.30am to 1pm and is free of charge.

To apply for tickets visit Fengrain’s website here​ and follow the link to conference registration.

Wilkinson is also chairman of the Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards​.

Meanwhile, would the UK be better or worse off if we quit the EU? Share your views with other industry professionals by voting in our survey. 

Survey

Would the UK and its food industry be better off if we resigned our EU membership as soon as possible?

  • Definitely: we would thrive when trading in the international market, unfettered by Brussels

    34%
  • No: so much of our trade is with Europe, a decision to quit would be very damaging

    33%
  • The benefits of EU membership transcend economics - having helped preserve peace for nearly 70 years

    33%
  • Don't know

    0%

Related topics: Supply Chain

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