The trade deal
The UK government is working on a trade deal with Australia - but a bad trade deal with Australia could drive a coach and horses through the UK’s ambitions on greening agriculture– where we have the potential to lead the world going into COP26.
WWF-UK wants our future trading relationships to make us stronger, greener, and more resilient. We want to lead in the industries of the future, including sustainable farming.
Aligning ourselves with the laggards on climate and nature – and inviting these lower standards of production onto British shelves – means we’re making our farmers compete with old models of farming we want to move away from, and exporting our environmental footprint, rather than reducing it.
Commenting on reports that the UK government is expected to take a decision on a UK-Australia trade deal allowing tariff-free and quota-free food and agricultural imports to the UK, Tanya Steele, chief executive at WWF, said:
“With nature in freefall and our climate in crisis, the Government has rightly committed to making sure British farming improves its environmental impact. A rushed trade deal with Australia could drive a coach and horses through those efforts, and provide a gateway into the UK for foods produced in ways that harm the environment.
“Our future trading relationships can make us stronger, greener and more resilient, leading in the industries of the future, including sustainable farming. But not if we align ourselves with the laggards on climate and nature, inviting lower standards of production onto our shelves and exporting our environmental footprint, rather than reducing it.
“Before agreeing trade deals, the Government needs to set out the core standards that will apply to all food sold in the UK – making it clear that we’re only in the market for high quality food that meets British standards. There is no economic benefit to rushing this – and only benefits for UK industry, the climate and the environment if we take the time to get it right."