19 June 1998
NFU’s Roberts warns over imports

THE difficulties of competing with imported pigmeat – or anything else – produced under less rigorous welfare and food safety regulations than the UKs are unlikely to go away, according to NFU chief economist Sion Roberts.

At a union seminar in Dorset, Mr Roberts, responding to a question from a large-scale pig producer, said: “It is a huge problem facing the individual but we are unlikely to be able to put up trade barriers to deal with it.”

There were differing ideas within the EU on what stance to take on the issue. “One obvious one is to differentiate your product. Relationships with retailers would be a major way to develop that,” Mr Roberts suggested.

But the questioner pointed out that his customer was a processor, not a retailer.

  • For this and other stories, see Farmers Weekly, 19-25 June, 1998

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