“The Government should be signing deals that position us as strategic exporters rather than importers undermining our own producers. It should be investing cleverly to safeguard and strengthen our agri-food production in order to support the industry to boost employment, protect the environment and sustain vibrant farming communities and the rural economy which are so intrinsic to Scotland.
“Our Scottish lamb and beef producers are under huge pressure to reduce CO2 emissions yet this agreement actively endorses using high levels of energy in refrigerated transport from the other side of the world. UK beef and lamb producers are also already competing on retail shelves before this lowering of tariffs, and this will only make it more difficult to remain competitive when access is given to large volumes of beef and lamb that cost less to produce and, arguably, from farming systems not currently permitted here.
“There seems to be more to gain from this deal for the New Zealand farmers than our own. We welcome the establishment of the TAC and it needs to be allowed to fulfil its role to promote and protect the future of Scotland and the UK as a high quality and commercially successful food producing nation.
“We also call on Scottish Government to ensure that policy change includes measures to protect our family farming businesses from unbalanced trade deals whilst allowing them to produce food, reduce emissions and protect the environment.”
JCM Media Contact: Susannah Pate – E: firstname.lastname@example.org M: 07841 194 897