According to the National Farmer’s Union (NFU), the ongoing political uncertainty surrounding Brexit is stalling progress within the UK dairy sector. NFU dairy board chairman, Michael Oakes, claims that essential jobs are ‘not being filled’, whilst investment is being ‘put on hold’ until there is more clarity on what post-Brexit Britain will look like.
Whilst the NFU claims that there are good opportunities for the dairy sector if the UK were to leave the EU, a good deal with the EU is undoubtedly in the UK’s favour; between 2013-2017, over 90% of UK dairy exports went to EU countries, which highlights just how important preserving this relationship is.
The union fears that the ongoing uncertainty is causing ‘crippling’ damage to the UK dairy farming industry. “We’re still in the dark about what trading environment we will be operating under and whether we will have access to a sufficient workforce to carry out essential roles on our dairy farms, or what the UK’s future domestic agricultural policy will look like,” Mr Oakes said.
“Once we have certainty about our future relationship with the EU, we need government to look at how it can support the growth of the British dairy sector by helping us access key markets and invest in domestic processing capacity to allow the industry to meet demand.”