“We are however now engaged in dialogue with senior parts of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to resolve these one by one.
“We are also part of a sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) certification working group with other likeminded organizations in the food and feed sectors [to tackle such issues],” Ed Barker, head of policy and external affairs at the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC), told us.
In March this year, the trade group noted UK feed exports to EU were being hit as not all countries were applying the same controls.
While the trade body signaled in January and February that there were extremely complex issues surrounding the export of feeds containing animal by-products, it also flagged in March an issue for its members around exports of feeds that contained no animal products.
The AIC is currently running a survey on EU exit amongst its members to gauge the full picture of trade with the EU on both exports and imports. It expects to be able to release the findings soon.
Data on UK trade with EU in Q1 2021
Meanwhile a report from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), released this week, shows the UK’s trade in goods with EU countries fell by 23% in the first quarter of 2021, with exports to Ireland particularly affected by disruption linked to the EU exit.
Trade with non-EU countries decreased by only 0.8%t, the data reveals.
The data was compared with 2018 as that was the last time that UK trade patterns were relatively stable, read the ONS report.
Among businesses that reported challenges at the end of February 2021, Brexit was the most commonly cited cause. That was a rise from mid-December 2020. The numbers of companies reporting the pandemic as their main challenge decline over the same period.