Changes to red meat industry ‘inevitable’ in the face of Brexit

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

The red meat industry needs to be ready for change, no matter the result of Government Brexit negotiations
The red meat industry needs to be ready for change, no matter the result of Government Brexit negotiations

Related tags: Brexit, Meat & Seafood

The red meat industry will be faced with inevitable and permanent change whatever the outcome of any Brexit negotiations, warned Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

HCC chief executive Gwyn Howells reinforced industry concerns over a no-deal Brexit and possible World Trade Organisation tariffs hitting key export markets.

Deal or no deal, he warned there would be a change in the way meat trade operated, the likes of which had not been seen by the industry in the last 40 years.

‘Not business as usual’

 “If there is a deal, it’s not going to be business as usual – there will be some non-tariff barriers even if we get a good deal, which will be around administrative costs which will undoubtedly have a bearing on product price, either at the consumer end or, more likely, at the producer end,” ​said Howells.

“There will be ramifications and the world as we know it now will be different in terms of the value that we get from the market and the administrative burden we will have to carry.”

Levels of preparedness

HCC export market development executive Deanna Jones said the level of preparedness for red meat processors varied across the industry. However, even the most prepared businesses will still be faced with additional paperwork once the EU becomes a third country.

“Of course, the uncertainty around the tariffs is still a major cause for concern for all our processors,”​ she added.

Meanwhile, British consumer spending on beef totalled £551m in the 12 weeks to 1 November 2020,​ up 12.6% compared with the previous year, according to figures from research organisation Kantar Worldpanel.

The data also suggests shoppers’ recent choices are increasing profitability for the beef industry in terms of the selection of cut as well as the volume of sales, possibly as a result of increased home cooking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related news

Show more


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


View more