The British poultry industry has hit back at the US government after a recently published US Trade Representative report suggested Britain’s world-class animal welfare and food safety standards are unnecessary and restrict trade.
British Poultry Council, Chief Executive, Richard Griffiths said: “It is insulting of the US to offer trade products that do not meet British food production standards and to suggest that our world-class animal welfare and food safety standards unnecessarily restrict trade.
“British poultry producers don’t dip their chicken carcase in chlorine as we do not believe in ‘cleaning up at the end’ or taking any short-cuts when it comes to producing safe food. Using chemicals to disinfect food at the end of a production process can hide a multitude of sins, but what it can’t hide is the need for their use in the first place.
“British farmers have worked incredibly hard to build a food system that speaks to the public good, that enhances British food values and that ensures high standards of production from farm to fork.
“We know that British consumers are unwilling to accept lower standards as part of a trade deal with the US. One of the recent polls commissioned by the Institute for Public Policy Research highlights that Britons are willing to cancel a post-Brexit deal with the US in order to protect UK’s animal welfare and food safety standards.
“Britons demand safe, wholesome, and nutritious food; world-class animal welfare; production that respects the environment; food that is affordable and available; and a sustainable and secure supply chain. Our trading partners must respect that.
“We are committed to carrying on working with the Government towards opening new markets for trade by stressing the vital importance of quality. We will not compete to a race to the bottom and we will not compromise on our animal welfare and food safety standards in pursuit of new trade deals.
“A secure post-Brexit deal must be one that bolsters Britain’s future food security and safety, that enhances our reputation on the global stage. The British Poultry meat industry is calling for an integrated food security policy: a cross-departmental framework that drives resilience and productivity in the food supply chain; combines agriculture, food, trade, and social policies; and puts feeding people at the heart of society.”