The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) embarked on a trade mission in Geneva, 9-11 October, to understand the implications of failing to agree our future trade relations with the EU.
Meetings were held with the WTO, as well as several major national missions including Ireland, USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Australia.
Michael Bellingham, PFMA Chief Executive, led the mission and advised: “In times of uncertainty we have to map out what the various scenarios could mean for our members and the UK pet food industry, crashing out of the EU without a trade agreement is one of them.”
In a packed programme, the PFMA team met a number of senior officials building relations with potential future trading partners.
Michael continued: “We have come back with a better understanding of the practicalities of operating under WTO Rules and have started shaping post-Brexit relationships. This mission has been important in helping the pet food industry plan and prepare even when the future is yet to be determined.
What is clear is that whilst we were warmly welcomed, joining the WTO as an independent member separate from the EU will be very challenging. Having a transitional agreement with the EU is therefore critical to our sector, not only to avoid tariffs and other barriers to trade with the EU, but also to allow time to sort out some very difficult political and technical hurdles joining the WTO.”
PFMA’s Five Brexit Priorities areas are:
For more detail on PFMA’s Brexit Priorities, please visit: /brexit-pfma
Notes to Editor:
Accompanying image: Meeting with the Australian Mission, left to right: Laurence Sandral (First Secretary), Michael Bellingham (PFMA Chief Executive), Lynn Insall (PFMA Brexit Team) and Oliver Doraisamy (Second Secretary).
PFMA is the principal trade body representing the UK pet food industry, our 70 members account for over 90% of the UK pet food market. Members manufacture foods for a variety of pet species including cats, dogs, small animals, birds and fish. PFMA also represents manufacturers of wild bird feed. For more information on the pet food industry, including the latest facts and figures, legislation etc please visit www.pfma.org.uk