A new report into international trade commissioned from Harper Adams academics examines how a deal with New Zealand will affect UK producers.
The report is the second of a three-year series being carried out in collaboration with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB.)
Using sophisticated economic modelling developed by Senior Lecturer in Applied Farm and Rural Economics Dr Daniel May, the report examines the possibilities for a range of produce from both UK and New Zealand farmers under the deal.
With the exception of pork, of which both countries are net importers, the report suggests a growth in the amount of products coming from New Zealand to the UK under the deal.
However, researchers at Harper Adams said the deal will cause marginal impacts on the UK rural economy.
The modelling used in the report – the International Agri-Food Trade Network Model (IAFTN) – has been developed to consider the intricacies of international agri-food trade and provide a deeper and more realistic analysis of agri-food trade agreements.
Dr May said: “The IAFTN has been developed to offer a more sophisticated model of international trade than some standard models – though it is important to note it is not a prediction, and could be affected by variables – such as the attitude of China, a major export market.
“However, these figures bear close scrutiny by policy makers, industry – and of course, farmers themselves.
“It is, however, important to note that while we have identified some major changes, their impact upon the UK’s rural economy is, in general, marginal.”
With trade deals taking time to implement, it is unlikely the effects of any changes are set to be immediate.
David Swales, AHDB head of strategic insight, added: “While FTAs create opportunities by lowering barriers to trade, it’s important to remember they don’t immediately create new demand or supply.
“While our analysis does highlight that the benefits to New Zealand farmers will far outweigh those for UK farmers, it’s important to remember implementation of FTAs takes time.
“As a result it is unlikely New Zealand red meat, for example, will start to flood UK supermarket shelves.”