Defra Agri-Food e-bulletin - February 2020

20th February 2020

Issued by Defra Agri-Food Chain Engagement Team

The e-bulletin contains information and communications that are relevant to Agri-Food businesses.

Trade, Imports and Exports

DIT launches tool for exporters

Find information here about how to move goods from the UK to the rest of the world.

Use this service to check:

  • rules and restrictions
  • tax and duty rates
  • what exporting documents you need

Please also find here a tool which UK businesses can promote to international contacts who are preparing to trade with the UK after the transition period.

Reporting a market access barrier

There is now a Government tool for reporting trade barriers. Please find more information here.

  • A trade barrier is something that slows down, limits or prevents a UK business exporting to or investing in an overseas market.
  • They can affect businesses of all sizes and at all stages of exporting, even if you’re just exploring opportunities.

Tariff consultation

Please be reminded that there are now just over 2 weeks to complete the public consultation to inform the UK’s new independent global tariff policy, which closes on 5 March 2020. We encourage anyone who is interested to take part.

For full details about the consultation and to submit a response, visit GOV.UK:

Consultation on Freeports in the UK

Please find here the 10 week consultation run by the Department for International Trade on the future of Freeports in the UK.

The Government has the following objectives for UK Freeports:

  • To establish Freeports as national hubs for global trade and investment across the UK.
  • To promote regeneration and job creation.
  • To create hotbeds for innovation.

Agricultural Productivity

The Agricultural Productivity Working Group (APWG) published a major report this week on improving productivity. The report highlights the steps that, together, industry and government can take to overcome the productivity challenge that has long faced the British farming industry.

George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said:

“I’m grateful to everyone involved in producing this report, which sets out how we can boost productivity and support our farmers to unleash their potential. With our landmark Agriculture Bill, we now have the opportunity to transform British farming, and industry and government working more closely together will be an important part of this.”

What is the APWG?

The APWG was established as a designated workstream of the Food and Drink Sector Council (FDSC).

The group’s vision is for a world-leading, competitive and sustainable UK agriculture and horticulture industry that can meet consumer demands for high-quality products at every price point.

Seasonal Workers Pilot

Environment Secretary George Eustice has this week confirmed the expansion of the Seasonal Workers Pilot to allow farmers to hire up to 10,000 workers in 2020 for up to 6 months – an increase from the previous 2,500 workers. The Seasonal Workers Pilot opened in 2019 and is designed to test the effectiveness of our immigration system at supporting UK growers during peak production periods, whilst maintaining robust immigration control. This additional workforce will complement the EU workers already travelling to the UK this year to provide seasonal labour on farms during the busy harvest months.

Please find the full press release here.

Points-Based Immigration System

Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has this week set out plans for a new UK points-based immigration system. The policy statement below was published today and provides details of how Government intends to introduce a new system that will attract the high-skilled workers we need to contribute to our economy, our communities and our public services.

Please find the full policy statement here.