Post Brexit Food Standards Campaign: UK Agriculture and Trade Bills

Publish Date: June 22, 2020 Posted By: Rosanna Frost

Letter to The Prime Minister regarding UK Agriculture and Trade Bills. Please see below.

17th June 2020

Dear Prime Minister

Post Brexit Food Standards Campaign: UK Agriculture and Trade Bills

UK restaurants and cooking talent are considered among the best in the world. The quality and integrity of the food produced by our Royal Academy of Culinary Arts members and others in hospitality have helped to create this global reputation. They can only do this by working with products from the best suppliers produced to the highest standards. Most of these are home-produced by local, seasonal and artisan businesses which they willingly champion.

We are dismayed that the UK Government is close to missing a critical opportunity to uphold our high food ethics in its new Agriculture Bill by not banning low standard imports. This risks exposing us all to poor quality food, produced cheaply by cutting corners in food safety, animal welfare (including unnecessary use of prophylactic antibiotics; hormones etc.) and their unsustainable environmental impact.

Our UK farmers and food producer partners work to high environmental and animal welfare standards which this government boasts are world-leading. They should not be forced to compete against cheap imports that would be illegal to produce or sell here but global trading laws will make it difficult, if not impossible, to avoid. Our members are not willing to lower the quality of food they serve. We also know that the guests who come to members’ restaurants – and make a vital contribution to the UK’s tourism economy - expect that these standards are integral to the meals they enjoy and would not accept any lowering of current rules.

At any time, but especially now when we are fighting this Covid crisis, the quality and ethics of our food are paramount and we cannot allow standards to be lowered for the sake of fast-track trade deals.

The RACA’s 300 Academician members represent the UK’s most famous and highly respected chefs and service personnel and long established, successful restaurants and hotels as well as the UK’s top five catering training Colleges who educate our apprentices who are the future of hospitality.

Together, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts represents captains of industry from leading hospitality establishments and suppliers across the country. Collectively it employs many thousands of hospitality personnel whose businesses thrive on the quality of its products and services. It cannot be stressed enough that it is a key contributor to the economy.

We are united on calling on the Government to put into legislation a ban on these products entering the UK and support the establishment of a new Trade Food and Farming Commission to regulate future imports.

Yours sincerely

Signed

Brian Turner CBE (President)

John Williams MBE (Chairman), Executive Chef, The Ritz

Sara Jayne Stanes OBE (CEO)

Richard Larkin (General Manager)