Parliament urged to reject Australia deal

National Beef Association chief executive Neil Shand has called on Parliament to reject the Australia trade deal in a bid to force the Government back into negotiations.

Speaking to Farmers Guardian after appearing before the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) committee this week, Mr Shand said while he believed the ‘horse may have bolted’ on the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), there was hope for a better arrangement for farmers if Parliament threw out the deal.

Industry groups have already raised concerns over the scrutiny of trade agreements, which is governed by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act (CRAG). Under CRAG rules, if a trade deal is tabled in Parliament, and MPs do not vote against it, it is automatically ratified. If MPs do vote against the deal, Ministers can re-table it and the Commons has 21 days to delay the process again, with this cycle able to go on indefinitely.

“We would urge Parliament not to vote the deal through and go back and re-negotiate on better terms,” Mr Shand said.

“While there may be benefits to the UK economy, there is no benefit to British beef whatsoever. They [the Government] need to learn that by rushing to secure a deal, mistakes have been made.”

 

 

by Jane Thynne / Farmers Guardian

Lamb makes resurgence among consumers as sales soar

Lamb is making a resurgence among consumers, with sales of roasting joints soaring during the last two festive periods.

Most proteins saw roasting joints or whole cut volumes decline on the heights of 2020 but lamb was the exception, up 0.9 per cent and 3.3 per cent on Christmas 2020 and 2019 respectively, latest data from Kantar has shown.

Despite grocery price inflation reaching 3.5 per cent in December 2021, adding an average of £15 to shoppers’ monthly bills, consumers spent £662.5 million on lamb in 2021, a 12.6 per cent increase compared to 2019.

The average price of lamb also rose, up 4.6 per cent year-on-year.

 

Hannah Binns / Farmers Guardian

China trade bans spread to big lamb exporters

Chinese trade sanctions have spread to lamb with two of Australia’s biggest exporters effectively banned from the industry’s biggest market.

China is refusing to accept sheep meat from Australian Lamb Company and JBS Brooklyn after they were closed for short periods because of COVID-19 outbreaks.

The lamb and sheepmeat trade with China – worth almost $780 million in 2019-20 – joins beef, barley, wine, seafood, timber and coal on the growing list of Australian commodities targeted as relations between Beijing and the Morrison government continue to deteriorate.

Those relations hit a low last week when a senior Chinese official circulated a doctored image of an Australian soldier slitting the throat of an Afghan boy holding a lamb.

The Australian Lamb Company, which employs about 600 people at Colac, and the JBS Brooklyn plant near Port Melbourne have been reopened for months with no infections but remain shut out of China.

China has not imposed import sanctions on United States abattoirs hit by COVID-19 and is reopening to abattoirs in countries such as Brazil and Argentina which have high rates of infection.

 

 

by Brad Thompson