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Organic food suppliers face Brexit uncertainty


Warning: Minette Batters

Warning: Minette Batters

Warning: Minette Batters

Organic food producers will face a "cliff edge" over exporting to the EU in the event of a 'no deal' Brexit, farming leaders have warned.

According to technical guidance published by the Government, UK businesses would only be allowed to export to the EU if they were certified by an organic certification body approved by the European Commission.

But UK organic bodies will not be able to apply for recognition until after Brexit and approval could take up to nine months to secure.

The National Farmers' Union (NFU) said the situation for organic produce served as a warning on future trade in all food and agricultural products between the UK and the EU.

On organic produce, the Government said it was exploring "alternative approaches" to speed up the process.

The Government expects to negotiate an arrangement which would allow free movement of organic produce between the UK and EU.

NFU president Minette Batters said the scenario spelled out for organic farming would be disastrous for farm businesses, the economy and society if it applied to the wider food chain.

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She said: "The technical notice for organic farming is a warning for us on the future of trade of all agri-food products. If all these products were subjected to the same problems in approvals and certification then this could result in effectively a trade embargo on exports to the EU."