Agri-Brexit Coalition – Review and Future Plans

The eight trade association members of the Agri-Brexit Coalition met at the AIC office on Monday August 6th, to review progress to date and make detailed plans for the autumn programme.

The series of seminars held at the RAF Club in London were considered to be highly successful, with good Stakeholder attendance and important messages from the supply industry being fed through to Defra and other government departments at senior civil servant level.

Of particular note was the success of the recently-held Trade seminar where individual supply industry companies gave testimony to the opportunities – and challenges of Brexit. We therefore plan to re-use this rather more directly-relevant dimension in our autumn programme.

Provisional plans for this recognise that there will be a crucially important timeslot between the publication of the forthcoming Agriculture Bill – probably in mid to late September, and the end of the consultation period which is expected to run throughout the autumn.

Our plan therefore is to organise two events, probably in the late October / November period. Firstly a seminar where a different selection of Coalition member businesses comment about the effects that the Agriculture Act would have upon them. Once again, this will be targeted at Senior Civil Servants and other key stakeholders. Secondly – and held later on the same day if possible, we plan a House of Commons reception at which similar messages will be given, but this time with an audience consisting of MPs and Peers.

The eight members of the Agri-Brexit Coalition expressed their satisfaction that this Coalition format has enabled their voice to be heard higher and more clearly with key stakeholders than would otherwise be possible within individual organisations. One small example of this is that Defra have asked permission for the Health & Harmony Report which will be published concurrently with the Agriculture Bill, to specifically quote from the Agri-Brexit Coalition’s written submission.

David Caffall
Director of Policy, AIC and Agri-Brexit Coalition Co-ordinator