With Brexit bills dominating the government agenda and negotiations underway to seek a new relationship with the EU, the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has published its Brexit Manifesto at pfma.org.uk/brexit.
The trade body looks forward to working with the new government to achieve a clear and certain path ahead. Michael Bellingham, PFMA chief executive comments: “Pets and their owners are very important to us, as is the economic environment in which they have to make their purchasing decisions and in which we have to source our raw materials and sell our products.
“We will continue to monitor the Brexit discussions and work proactively and collaboratively for a successful outcome. The importance to our sector of the European market and a successful outcome to the forthcoming negotiations cannot be overestimated.”
The PFMA Brexit Manifesto focuses on five areas:
- “Safety standards, animal health and welfare, for which the UK pet food sector has a high reputation. We would like to see early resolution of arrangements for veterinary controls, on which our business depends. PFMA has pointed out that in the UK 85% of official state vets carrying out official controls are from other EU countries and 30% of all vets come from the EU.
- “Sustainability of supplies: We source more than 80% of our raw materials from the UK and wish to continue to do so. In addition to the reliable supply of UK agricultural raw materials, our domestic farmers are also a key factor in safeguarding high animal welfare, and food and feed safety standards. We play a key role in the sustainability of the supply chain, in particular by using those parts of the animal carcass which, whilst safe and wholesome, are not used for human food and would otherwise become an on-cost to the supply chain for their appropriate disposal.
- “Legislation: PFMA has worked closely with UK officials and our EU counterparts over several decades on the development and implementation of the laws governing pet food manufacture and content. PFMA welcomes the commitment to bring the acquis into UK law as part of the White Paper on Legislating for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. This will ease the transition into a new trading relationship with the EU and the rest of the world. We urge the new government not to seek to make changes to the regulatory regime until the negotiations with the European Commission and EU27 are complete and our new relationships clear.
- “Future trade: As a sector, we are becoming increasingly concerned about future market access arrangements with the EU. We need to avoid barriers to trade, both tariff and non-tariff. Of particular concern will be the potential requirement for a substantial increase in Export Health Certificates and additional bureaucracy in the system, which may cause damaging delays and add significant costs to our business.
- “Workforce: Access to people and skills is as important as access to markets. As a science-based industry, we also wish to see clear arrangements for future scientific cooperation and access to relevant expertise.”
A copy of the full PFMA Brexit Manifesto is available at: http://www.pfma.org.uk/brexit.
For further information on the pet food industry, including the latest facts and figures, please visit: www.pfma.org.uk.