EFRA committee calls for food standards reassurance

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

MPs have urged the government to preserve standards on imports after Brexit
MPs have urged the government to preserve standards on imports after Brexit
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has called on the Government to “put its money where its mouth is” and ensure imported food products are held to current British standards as part of any post-Brexit trade deal.

In its Scrutiny of the Agriculture Bill​ report, EFRA urged the Government to accept its amendment to the Agriculture Bill regarding trade, which stipulated imported food products should meet or exceed British standards relating to production, animal welfare and the environment.

The Committee also proposed that the Groceries Code Adjudicator should oversee the proposed fair dealing obligations for first purchasers of agricultural products, rather than the Rural Payments Agency. It also expressed disappointment that it was not given the chance to scrutinise the Bill pre-legislatively.

Preserve our legacy

EFRA chair Neil Parish MP said: “The United Kingdom currently has exceptionally high environmental and food standards and an internationally recognised approach to animal welfare. This legacy cannot be ripped apart by the introduction of cheap, low-quality goods following our exit from the European Union.

“Imports produced to lower standards than ours pose a very real threat to UK agriculture. Without sufficient safeguards, we could see British farmers significantly undermined, while turning a blind eye to environmental degradation and poor animal welfare standards abroad.

Parish also raised concerns over the extent to which powers have been delegated in the Agriculture Bill.

‘Opportunities for scrutiny’

“This Bill lacks clarity and gives any future secretary of state the opportunity to avoid scrutiny and make crucial decisions while going somewhat unchallenged,” ​he added. “We would like to see sufficient opportunities for parliamentary scrutiny before any new systems or policies are rolled out.

“Given the fundamental changes ahead of us, we would also like to see the Government provide us with a detailed timetable for its programme of statutory instruments relating to this Bill.”

Meanwhile, the threat of a legislative tsunami”​ in the wake of Brexit​ could leave the food industry lacking consistency across regulations, according to an expert in food law.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Minimise the impact of product recalls Post-Brexit

Minimise the impact of product recalls Post-Brexit

Epicor | 10-Dec-2018 | Technical / White Paper

The impact of Brexit on current legislation is a topic of much conversation and debate. When it comes to product recalls the uncertainty around what may...

Hygienic design boosts quality and safety

Hygienic design boosts quality and safety

Minebea Intec | 16-Aug-2018 | Technical / White Paper

Avoiding food contamination and increasing product safety are key objectives of all food producers. It is critical to prevent any type of contamination...

Related suppliers


Post your comment

We will not publish your email address on the website

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Follow us

Featured Events

View more


View more