At the IDF World Dairy Summit taking place in Belfast this week, Tomas Pietrangeli, Managing Director of Arla Foods UK has spoken on the opportunities and challenges posed by Brexit to the UK dairy industry.
In a speech given to the global dairy community Pietrangeli said. “The farmers that own Arla and the dairy industry as a whole need to know urgently what the government plans look like for the future of food and farming. That means the early publication of a new agriculture policy next year. Any delays will be detrimental to our industry due our long term planning cycles.”
Pietrangeli suggested that the post-Brexit trade deal is likely to be a complex part of the negotiation, noting that the two year status quo to avoid a cliff edge is reassuring but it’s not quite enough to plan well.
Dairy UK has published the ‘White Paper’ report for 2017 which details the ‘game changing’ opportunities and challenges which the industry is facing over issues such as Brexit and consumer confidence in dairy foods.
Dairy UK have called Brexit the most defining issue the industry has faced for generations, with the White Paper 2017 identifying what Brexit needs to deliver to safeguard the future interests of an industry that employs more than 70,000 people, and has an overall turnover of nearly £28 billion.
On prospects for the industry, the White Paper reveals that an increasing demand for dairy globally is putting world milk production on an upward trend.
On the issue of Brexit, Dairy UK says;
- Continued trading agreements with the EU without tariff and non-tariff barriers will mean massive export and growth opportunities – failure will damage exports and reduce demand for dairy;
- The worst outcome from Brexit would be a return to WTO rules;
- An unhurried transition period would give the industry the chance to adapt and take advantage of the opportunities Brexit creates;
- Access to skilled and unskilled labour is vital – failure to maintain access will drive up operating costs, with a major impact on margins;
- UK dairy farmers should not be disadvantaged compared with their European neighbours;
- The Northern Ireland border issue should be resolved by creating a frictionless and seamless border regime that could be a blueprint for future arrangements with the EU.
The White Paper
Når Storbritannien i 2019 træder ud af EU, betyder det en ny virkelighed for Arla, som har sit største enkeltmarked i landet. Derfor er det vigtigt at kende de nye samarbejdsvilkår i detaljer og samtidigt vigtigt, at forklare virksomhedens interesser overfor de involverede EU-politikere og embedsmænd. På den baggrund har Arla pr. 1. august etableret et særligt Brexitkontor, som ledes af Helena Fagraeus, der hidtil har arbejdet med forskellige strategiske og kommercielle forhold i virksomheden, skriver Maelkeritidene.
– Jeg skal lede arbejdet med de forskellige scenarier samt evaluere vores forretningsstrategi i Storbritannien for at sikre, at Arla står stærkt efter Brexit, siger Helena Fagraeus til ejerbladet.
– Ved at vurdere hvilken betydning Brexit kan få for forskellige scenarier kan vi definere mulige veje fremad for Arla, siger hun og påpeger samtidigt, at der vil være fokus både på samhandel og adgang til det britiske marked samt på at sikre Arlas britiske andelshavere lige vilkår i konkurrencen med de øvrige mælkeproducenter i EU.
“It is vitally important that the UK dairy industry is recognised and prioritised during Brexit negotiations”, Dr David Dobbin, Chairman of Dairy UK, said speaking at Dairy UK’s Brexit and Beyond industry seminar in London and at the organisation’s annual dinner.
Dr Dobbin said it is in the national interest for dairy to be given due prominence during the Brexit process. He said: “The importance and relevance of dairy must not be forgotten or traded to the benefit of other sectors.”
Dr Dobbin told delegates that the dairy industry in the UK sees opportunities as well as threats in Brexit but everyone wants stability. He said the UK government and all political decision-makers must ensure that: trading arrangements with the EU without tariff and non-tariff barriers are continued; the relationship with the EU is clarified before negotiating free trade agreements with third countries; there is continued access to skilled and unskilled labour; any review of existing regulations or the introduction of new regulations will not create non-tariff barriers; UK farmers are not disadvantaged compared to their European neighbours.
”With 80% of UK dairy exports currently going to EU countries, any disruption to current agreements would have an extensive and costly impact on our industry.
We support the Government’s commitment to put in place a strong, swift and effective transitional process and urge them to avoid any kind of interruption to current trade agreements with EU countries or the creation of counterproductive tariff or non-tariff barriers.
What we absolutely cannot see is a fall back to WTO default terms as the tariffs within WTO arrangements would have disastrous consequences for dairy trade”, Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK says.
Arla Foods UK’s managing director Tomas Pietrangeli has issued a call to the food and farming industry to work together to form one single voice around Brexit and he has committed to identify ways to make this happen.
He stresses th need for the food and farming industries to maintain access to labour and tariff-free access to the single market after Brexit.
He mentions that the UK dairy industry seeks to access foreign markets and that severe damage could be done if the deal negotiated does not have the industry’s needs at its heart.
Omkring 80 procent av Arlas totala globala omsättning kommer från EU och över 25 procent kommer från Storbritannien. Arla kommer därför att fokusera på att minimera eventuella negativa effekter för företaget efter Brexit och att arbeta för att behålla den fria handeln mellan Storbritannien och EU som är så viktig för företagets verksamhet.
Arla har skapat en arbetsgrupp i företagsledningen för att skydda, följa och förbereda företaget för den utveckling som följer efter Brexit-omröstningen.
Does the UK’s vote to leave the European Union present disaster or opportunity?
Commentators worldwide, from Chicago to Pretoria, give their thoughts on Brexit, and what it means for agriculture.