Brexit: Michel Gove visits flagship Danish pork factory

Environment secretary Michael Gove has visited Danish Crown’s flagship slaughterhouse in Horsens, as part of a three-day fact-finding mission in Scandinavia. 

Gove, the minister of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), visited pork processor Danish Crown and dairy giant Arla – two of Denmark’s agricultural powerhouses – recently.

It was the minster’s first fact-finding mission since he was named Environment Minister days after the General Election in June.

And with Brexit talks moving forward with pace, Gove visited a Danish meat factory well-known for its high production standards.

Danish Crown’s Horsens slaughterhouse is widely regarded as the most modern pig processing plant in Europe and processes around 100,000 pigs per week.

Here, Gove met the company’s top executives - Danish Crown CEO Jais Valeur, chairman Eric Bredholt and the CEO of Tulip UK, Steve Francis.
Gove told the senior executives that the UK government still wanted to secure a comprehensive free trade agreement and hoped to spur on productivity without compromising industry-leading food production standards.

During the informal talks, he is also believed to have stressed that high food safety and animal welfare standards would continue to be championed after Brexit. He also discussed investment in agriculture and meat processing, as well as access to labour.

After the meeting, Valeur said: “The UK is a key export destination for our Danish produce, and we also have extensive interests and leading positions in UK farming and meat processing, so we are watching Brexit negotiations with more than a passing interest. It is clear that managing the UK’s exit from the EU involves huge complexity, and we hope that the outcome will provide for a business environment that encourages continued growth.”

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