The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) last month embarked on a trade mission to Geneva to understand the implications of failing to agree our future trade relations with the EU.
Michael Bellingham, PFMA’s chief executive, said meetings were held with the WTO, as well as several major national missions including Ireland, USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Australia.
He added: “In times of uncertainty we have to map out what the various scenarios could mean for our members and the UK pet food industry, crashing out of the EU without a trade agreement is one of them.
“We have come back with a better understanding of the practicalities of operating under WTO Rules and have started shaping post-Brexit relationships. This mission has been important in helping the pet food industry plan and prepare even when the future is yet to be determined.
“What is clear is that whilst we were warmly welcomed, joining the WTO as an independent member separate from the EU will be very challenging. Having a transitional agreement with the EU is therefore critical to our sector, not only to avoid tariffs and other barriers to trade with the EU, but also to allow time to sort out some very difficult political and technical hurdles joining the WTO.”
Mr Bellingham said PFMA’s five Brexit priorities areas are: animal health & welfare, raw materials supplies, regulatory regime, market access and workforce.