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DAERA Minister Edwin Poots MLA met with Mr Tim Smith, the Chair of the Trade and Agriculture Commission to discuss their report which advises the Government on the treatment of food commodities within future trade deals.

Minister Poots said: “I was pleased to host this meeting and I thank Mr Smith and the other members of the Commission for their recent very detailed report on the issue of food standards and trade deals.

“The Report makes a very significant contribution to the debate on future food standards. It is vital that current standards are maintained and that all imports are required to meet those standards. I also emphasised the need to maintain quotas to ensure that the high provenance, traceability, animal welfare, animal health, food miles, environmental protection and workers’ rights are maintained. I do not believe there is any desire amongst the public to see more of our food sourced from abroad, especially in a post Covid-19 environment.”

The Minister concluded: “I will continue engaging with the UK Government and our stakeholders on trade negotiations and will highlight the need to secure an outcome which benefits all parts of the UK and is fair to our agri-food industry.”