International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has today launched 11 new groups to advise on trade, including an Agri-Food group covering most aspects of the industry.
The group also includes representatives of the UK farming unions, and organisations and businesses representing all sectors of farming, food and drink, as well as retail, hospitality, meat processing and manufacturing.
As trade talks with Japan, the US, Australia and New Zealand intensify, Ms Truss said she was stepping up engagement with key industries across Britain, including farming, manufacturing and automotive.
She said their advice will be used to help inform the government’s negotiating position and deliver key industry asks that benefit the whole UK, including securing new market access on products like meat, as well as ceramics, cars and steel, and agreeing ‘cutting-edge digital trade rules’.
The new groups are comprised of the ‘best and brightest businesses people from all parts of Britain’, as part of DIT’s efforts to ensure trade deals benefit all regions and devolved administrations, she added.
“This is about bringing business closer to the negotiating table and using their expertise to help secure the best possible deals that deliver jobs and growth across Britain,” Ms Truss said.
“Talks with Japan, the US, Australia and New Zealand are entering their crucial latter stages, so it is only right that we step up engagement with vital industries to utilise their technical and strategic expertise.”
“I want business in Britain to feel engaged and informed about the work we’re doing to build an independent trade policy and how it impacts them.”
Adam Couch, chief executive of pork processor Cranswick and a member of the Agri-Food Group, said: “I am delighted to be able to work with the Department for International Trade on the development of the Agri-Food Trade Advisory Group.
“There are so many opportunities that we can explore as part of the programme to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of global agricultural standards to maintain our competitive position as we seek to negotiate future trade agreements.”
The full list of Agri-Food Group members:
- British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) – Emma McClarkin – Chief Executive Officer
- Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) – Phil Hadley – International Director
- Blacks of Bacton – James Black – Managing Director
- British Retail Consortium (BRC) – Andrew Opie – Director of Food
- Chase Distillery/Tyrells Court Farm – James Chase – Founder
- Cranswick – Adam Couch – Chief Executive Officer
- Farmers Union Wales – Nick Fenwick – Head of Policy
- Food and Drink Federation (FDF) – Dominic Goudie – Head of International Trade
- Forman & Sons (salmon) – Lance Forman – Owner and Founder
- Foyle Food Group – Terry Acheson – Chief Executive Officer
- G’s Global – John Shropshire – Founder
- Long Clawson – Ashley Reek – Managing Director
- Mercer Foundation and Moma Foods – Tom Mercer – Partner of Mercer Farming and Chairman of Moma Foods
- National Farmers’ Union (NFU) – Nick von Westenholz – Head of Trade
- National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Cymru – John Mercer – Director
- National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Scotland – Jonathan Hall – Director of Policy
- National Sheep Association (NSA) – Phil Stocker – Chief Executive Officer
- OMSCO – Richard Hampton – Managing Director
- Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) – Ian McKendrick – International Director
- Scottish Seafood Association – Jimmy Buchan – Chief Executive Officer
- Seafish – Aoife Martin – Director of Operations
- Seafish – Fiona Wright – General Manager
- Seafood Sector – Toby Baxendale – UK Entrepreneur
- Tate & Lyle – Gerald Mason – Senior Vice President
- Tesco – David Cohen – Scali – Category Manager, Grocery Commodities
- The International Meat Trade Association (IMTA) – Katie Doherty – Chief Executive Officer
- The International Meat Trade Association (IMTA) – Katrina Walsh – Head of Policy
- The Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) – Miles Beale – Chief Executive Officer
- UK Hospitality – Kate Nicholls – Chief Executive Officer
- Ulster Farmers Union – Wesley Aston – Chief Executive Officer
The 11 Trade Advisory Groups:
- Automotive, Aerospace and Marine
- British Manufacturing and Consumer Goods
- Life Sciences
- Tech and Telecoms
- Financial Services
- Professional Advisory Services
- Transport Services
- Creative Industries.