Labour and Brexit progress top 2017 wish lists

A skilled workforce and answers to still-burning questions on Great Britain’s EU referendum decision are top of the meat industry’s wish list for 2017. 

Although some progress has been made on butchery apprenticeship schemes, Mike Whittemore, head of trade and product development at AHDB, urged more to be done to nurture the future of the industry.

“A highly skilled workforce is what we in the meat industry must continue to nurture and develop. We at AHDB continue to assist the industry in doing so. Our Meat Education Programme has proved to be a hit with the industry. A highly skilled workforce adds value to the product which delivers improved profit. More importantly the beef, pork and lamb we sell on is better prepared thus delivering more satisfaction the result of which is increased sales.”

Norman Bagley, policy director at the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers, urged action on Brexit by the government. “I’ve got to ask why can’t our illustrious leaders simply get their heads down and get us out of the EU in the most straightforward way possible.” He added that Great Britain is probably in a better bargaining position than most believe when it comes to trade agreements. “I’m confident the EU mandarins are firing blanks when they suggest bilateral agreements will prove tricky.”

Tying the previous two together, Richard Griffiths, chief executive of the British Poultry Council, wanted to see access to labour post-Brexit.

He said: “A Brexit solution where the government actually recognises the importance of access to labour from beyond our borders, and the need for tariff-free trade with our European partners.”

What are your hopes for 2017? Let us know by Tweeting @MTJ_tweet using the hashtag #2017meatindustry

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