Swiss talks open door for British lamb trade

The sustainability of British sheep farming as pressed home by a sheep industry leader during talks to pave the way for lamb exports post-Brexit.
Pic: Anthony HendriePic: Anthony Hendrie
Pic: Anthony Hendrie

National Sheep Association chief Phil Stocker addressed international lamb buyers and suppliers at the event in Berne, Switzerland in support of the AHDB’s export team.

Tuesday’s event was hosted by David Moran, British Ambassador to Switzerland and Lithuania.

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Mr Stocker said: “Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, ranked first in terms of nominal wealth per adult. This affluence means product quality is key and consumers have a good grasp on social and environmental issues. Switzerland is a net importer of lamb and its values and interests align well with the UK’s high welfare standards and sustainable approach to sheep farming.

“The trip this week provided an excellent opportunity to engage with Swiss buyers and suppliers of lamb in the presence of the British Ambassador and representatives of the British Department of International Trade. The guests accounted for the vast majority of the Swiss lamb trade and it was a unique opportunity to talk about the many benefits of UK sheep farming and how it is closely linked to landscape, environment, wildlife and rural communities.

“This type of work, ahead of major trade renegotiations as a result of Brexit, is essential and demonstrates the importance of activity by our Government departments and levy bodies. I am delighted NSA can support this work, which in turn creates business opportunities for UK processors and sheep farmers. Actions to safeguard and further develop existing markets, while encouraging new opportunities for additional outlets, is more important now than ever as we begin to consider our opportunities as a sector outside the EU.”

Switzerland is not a member of the EU but has bilateral trade agreements with EU member states.

The UK has not needed a Swiss export certificate for red meat under its EU membership but this will change post-Brexit.

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