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MPs Set to Grill Ministers on UK's Fragmented Agrifood Trade Strategy

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) is set to examine the UK Government's agrifood trade strategy, scrutinising its coherence and efficacy, in a session on Tuesday 23 April,where Ministers will face questions from MPs.

The session, a critical part of the Committee's ongoing inquiry into UK trade policy concerning food and agriculture, aims to address concerns that the UK lacks a consistent approach to agrifood trade since leaving the EU.

The UK's agri-food sector, a major economic contributor employing over 4 million people and generating £127 billion in 2021, stands at the forefront of discussions.

Concerns have been raised repeatedly during the inquiry about the absence of a unified strategy and the implications this has for the sector, especially in light of the UK’s plans to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

MPs will specifically interrogate the Ministers on how UK trade agreements could affect food standards, security, and affordability.

As stated by Neil Parish, the EFRA Committee Chair, "We've heard time and again that there is no coherent trade strategy for food and agriculture. This is a crucial opportunity to put those at the helm of our trade policy on the spot and ensure they are accountable for the decisions that shape our food and farming landscape."

The inquiry has previously highlighted several key issues, including the need for stringent standards in trade deals and the importance of scrutinising such agreements thoroughly.

As the Committee convenes, it will seek detailed explanations from Government officials on their strategy to not only bolster the UK’s agri-food sector but also ensure it thrives in a post-Brexit world.


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