Chilled food exporters ‘given up’ on sending product to the EU

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Chilled food exporters have given up on trying to send product to the EU because of ‘kafkaesque’ red tape, an industry expert has claimed.

Karin Goodburn, director general of the Chilled Food Association, warned businesses were dealing with ‘archaic paperwork’ and ‘Byzantine process’ in trying to sell on the continent.

The requirement for food products to have an Export Health Certificate to enter the EU is slowing trade down considerably, with vets taking three or four hours to sign just one.

With 89,000 EHCs issued this year – a hundred times higher than the 806 last year – this equates to 21,000 eight hour days.

Speaking during an evidence session of the UK Trade and Business Commission, set up by internationalist campaign group Best for Britain, Ms Goodburn said: “Nobody is trying to send anything across the Channel at the moment in my sector, because there is not enough time left on the shelf life to sell the product at the other end of the system.”

Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association, told the Commission UK meat exporters were now having to spend an extra £1,000 to send a lorry through a port.

He also said smaller exporters were struggling with the ‘monster of a system’, with 29 different processes to follow, and claimed they would give up unless current checks are simplified.



By Abi Kay / Farmers Guardian

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