The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) has released an open letter to the leaders of political parties. The association states: “The nation’s 54 million pets didn’t vote for Brexit and will still expect their favourite foods available from 30 March 2019, no matter what happens during the next few weeks of negotiations.
“They cannot write to the political leaders to ask for their interests to be looked after, so PFMA are doing this on their behalf.”
The letter asks politicians to facilitate the task of operating successful UK pet food manufacturing businesses amid the economic and political uncertainties that are currently challenging the industry.
Peter Kersh, Chairman of PFMA, said: “Our members manufacture a wide range of products for pets of all types and range from major multinationals with manufacturing sites worldwide to small companies operating only in the UK. 90 percent of them are SMEs, many of which trade outside the UK, primarily within the EU single market.
“Our members are dedicated to providing the best quality pet foods made to high welfare standards and wish to continue to do so, no matter what the outcome of the current negotiations and future trading arrangements with the EU.”
PFMA points to the impact of uncertainty and the need for clear forward planning reminding politicians of its five priority areas laid down in the PFMA Brexit manifesto:
- Safety standards, animal health and welfare
- Sustainability of supplies
- Future trade
PFMA goes on to remind politicians that 44 percent of UK households have at least one pet. Many UK nationals resident in the EU also have pets and are concerned about their pets’ future rights of movement within the EU as well as that of their human family members.
Peter Kersh concluded: “The contribution of pet food manufacture to the UK goes beyond economics and trade; pets are an integral part of many UK households and play an important role in the wellbeing of many individuals and families.
“We urge politicians to consider these issues as Parliament resumes and the negotiations with the EU on the UK’s future relationship with our nearest neighbours progress.”