A welcome statutory footing for the Trade and Agriculture Commission

A “landmark moment” in the campaign by British farmers against imports of food produced to lower environmental and welfare standards, after the government promised independent scrutiny of post-Brexit trade deals.

British Farmers have campaigned long and hard to stop them being undercut by imports produced using methods that would be illegal here, such as injecting cattle with growth hormones and washing chicken carcasses with chlorine to remove bacteria.

More than a million people have signed a petition demanding that all food imports should be produced to British standards. Unprecedented coalition and support from farming organisations, environmental and animal welfare experts, politicians and some of the greatest chefs and celebrities in the country, including Jamie Oliver and Joe Wicks.

Back in June, farmers welcomed plans for the appointment of the new Trade and Agriculture Commission in advising ministers on the welfare standards and fair competition in trade deals with the US and other nations. The appointment was due to last only six months but has now been extended for at least three years.

Liz Truss, the trade secretary, and George Eustice, the environment secretary, announced that the Trade and Agriculture Commission would be placed on a statutory footing.

The amendment to the Agriculture Bill, will place a duty on the government to report to parliament on “whether, or to what extent, commitments in new free trade agreements relating to agricultural goods are consistent with maintaining UK levels of statutory protection in relation to human, animal and plant life and health, animal welfare and environmental protection”.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



Read the latest articles and commentary from Shoosmiths or you can explore our full insights library.