2016-09-16   facebooktwitterrss

NSA Works to Build Trade Relations

The National Sheep Association is taking an active role in furthering existing trade relationships outside the European Union, as plans continue for the UK to leave the common market.

Supporting the AHDB Export team, NSA played a major role at a reception in Berne for companies and organisations involved in buying and supplying lamb. Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, spoke at the event hosted by David Moran, the British Ambassador to Switzerland and Lithuania. Mr Stocker presented an overview of UK sheep farming with a focus on its many sustainability credentials.


Despite not being part of the EU, Switzerland enjoys a trade relationship with member states by way of bilateral agreements. The UK has not needed to hold a Swiss export certificate for red meat under its EU membership, although this will clearly change post-Brexit.

Mr Stocker says:
“Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, ranked first in terms of nominal wealth per adult. This affluence means product quality is key and consumers have a good grasp on social and environmental issues. Switzerland is a net importer of lamb and its values and interests align well with the UK’s high welfare standards and sustainable approach to sheep farming.

“The trip this week provided an excellent opportunity to engage with Swiss buyers and suppliers of lamb in the presence of the British Ambassador and representatives of the British Department of International Trade. The guests accounted for the vast majority of the Swiss lamb trade and it was a unique opportunity to talk about the many benefits of UK sheep farming and how it is closely linked to landscape, environment, wildlife and rural communities.

“This type of work, ahead of major trade renegotiations as a result of Brexit, is essential and demonstrates the importance of activity by our Government departments and levy bodies. I am delighted NSA can support this work, which in turn creates business opportunities for UK processors and sheep farmers. Actions to safeguard and further develop existing markets, while encouraging new opportunities for additional outlets, is more important now than ever as we begin to consider our opportunities as a sector outside the EU.”

Peter Hardwick, AHDB Head of Exports, adds:
“Exports, both inside the EU and across the wider world, are vital to the stability and viability of the sheep industry in this country, with more than a third of production being exported. The whole industry will work alongside Government to safeguard our current trade flows as well as exploiting further opportunities for growth.”


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