Switzerland and UK meet to discuss trade relationship

The UK meat industry is keen to export more lamb to wealthy Switzerland

Delegates from the UK’s red meat industry met in Bern, Switzerland, to discuss the future of the countries’ trading relationship.

Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, however it does enjoy a strong trading relationship with member states through bilateral agreements - a model that could be adopted by the UK after Brexit.

The event was hosted by David Moran, the British Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and was attended by organisational bodies from the UK – the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the National Sheep Association (NSA).

Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, and ranked first in terms of nominal wealth per adult,” said NSA chief executive Phil Stocker.

The affluence means product quality is key and consumers have a good grasp on social and environmental issues. Switzerland is a new importer of lamb and its values and interests align well with the UK’s welfare standards and sustainable approach to sheep farming.

The visit provided the British representatives with the chance to engage with Swiss buyers and suppliers of lamb, and helped provide a platform for the product.

This type of work, ahead of major trade renegotiations as a result of Brexit, is essential and demonstrates the importance of activity by our government departments and levy bodies,” added Stocker.

I am delighted NSA can support this work, which in turn creates business for UK processors and sheep farmers. Actions to safeguard and further develop existing markets, while encouraging new opportunities for additional outlets, is more important now than ever as we begin to consider our opportunities outside the EU.

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