Poultry body welcomes government stance on quality standards

The British Poultry Council (BPC) has applauded the government’s attitude of refusing to accept lower food standards in any new trade deals with the US. 

Earlier this week, US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross indicated that any post-Brexit deal with Washington might involve the UK scrapping some EU rules that hinder imports of US chicken washed in chlorine. 

However, international trade secretary Liam Fox told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday that British consumers would not stand for a reduction in standards. 

Fox had previously seen no issue with the British public consuming chlorinated chicken as long as it was proven safe, but told Radio 4 that members of the public may take “a bigger interest” in negotiations going forward.
He also confirmed that the government would commit to a wider consultation before signing new trade agreements.

In July, environment secretary Michael Gove insisted that the UK’s high animal welfare and environmental standards would not be diluted in pursuit of any trade deal.

BPC chief executive Richard Griffiths described Brexit as an opportunity to “enhance rather than diminish British food values that secure not just affordability and availability for the people but stand up for the quality of our food from ‘farm to fork’.”

“We welcome Government’s support towards our vision for a food system that speaks to the public good, backs British farmers and producers, and protects our food values and high standards of production, which have been hard won through years of experience,” he said.

“The British poultry meat industry stands committed to feeding the nation with safe, nutritious and affordable food, without any compromise on standards. A secure post-Brexit deal must be about Britain’s future food security and safety. It is a matter of our reputation on the global stage.”

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