Brexit and competitiveness in focus at Outlook 2016
Challenges facing the pork sector haven’t been far from the headlines in recent weeks and the UK’s other livestock sectors have faced similar challenges over the last year. This was the backdrop to last week’s AHDB Outlook Conference.
Delegates heard from AHDB chairman Peter Kendall about AHDB’s role in helping to seek out new market development opportunities at home and abroad for our products. They also heard how AHDB can help farmers identify where changes could be made to their businesses to help manage the impact of the current economic climate.
The conference also focused on some of the major international political developments which will affect the industry in the coming months. One of these is the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU and the conference heard from Professor Alan Matthews on the potential implications for the agri-food sector. Prof Matthews’ presentation examined an array of areas, including international trade, agricultural support and regulatory policy. Much uncertainty remains in all these areas about how UK policy would develop after a Brexit and what relationship the UK would have with the EU.
The livestock sector’s global competitiveness was in the spotlight during the presentation by Andrew McLay of Promar, who looked at the impact of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). His presentation also considered other factors influencing competitiveness, including exchange rates, freight charges and, of course, production costs. His conclusion was that the UK could be competitive on global markets but this might be undermined by the slow pace of negotiation of FTAs by the EU.
Presentations from the Outlook Conference, which also include the latest outlook for the pig market, can now be downloaded from the Outlook Conference page on our website. The entire event was also filmed for the first time this year and videos will be available to watch soon.
Stephen Howarth, Market Specialist Manager
Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org, 024 7647 8856