Industry discusses trade relationships with Switzerland

Organisational bodies from the red meat sector met in Bern, Switzerland on Tuesday, 13 September to discuss trade relationships outside of the European Union. 

Switzerland is not a Member State, although it does have the benefit of enjoying a trade relationship with other countries from the union through bilateral agreements. With the UK losing its EU membership, it will have to renegotiate an arrangement.

The event was hosted by David Moran, the British Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and was attended by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the National Sheep Association (NSA).

“Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, ranked first in terms of nominal wealth per adult,” commented NSA chief executive Phil Stocker.

“This affluence means product quality is key and consumers have a good grasp on social and environmental issues. Switzerland is a new importer of lamb and its values and interests align well with the UK’s high welfare standards and sustainable approach to sheep farming.”

Stocker said that the trip provided an opportunity for British representatives to engage with Swiss buyers and suppliers of lamb. The industry from the UK was given a platform to highlight the benefits of British farming.

“This type of work, ahead of major trade renegotiations as a result of Brexit, is essential and demonstrates the importance of activity by our government departments and levy bodies,” added Stocker.

“I am delighted NSA can support this work, which in turn creates business for UK processors and sheep farmers. Actions to safeguard and further develop existing markets, while encouraging new opportunities for additional outlets, is more important now than ever as we begin to consider our opportunities as a sector outside the EU.”

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