Stock-in-trade: What meat and dairy should we import?

Online Business Forum meeting

The UK imported £6.6 billion of meat, £3.3 billion of dairy & eggs and £2.4 billion of animal feed in 2019 (Source: Defra) – more than double what it exported that year. With trade negotiations with many potential trading partner countries at a critical stage – and with the Trade and Agriculture Commission in full swing – what does the future hold for meat & dairy imports? This online Business Forum meeting will explore under when it makes sense to import meat, dairy and animal feed, and when it does not.

What do UK citizens want when it comes to trade? How can we strike an appropriate balance on meat and dairy – protecting UK farmers and processors – whilst still reaping the benefits that trade, done well, can bring? Under what conditions should meat and dairy imports be encouraged and what should be the red lines? How can we ensure high standards of animal welfare, environmental protection and workers’ rights in meat and dairy imports? Which countries are leading the way on standards in meat & dairy and (how) are standards enforced? If there is a growing trend towards eating ‘less and better’ meat, how much should government and food businesses be encouraging meat and dairy imports? We will explore these questions and more.

Speakers will be Professor Tim Benton, Research Director, Chatham House; Sue Davies, Head of Consumer Protection and Food Policy, Which? who will share results from public dialogues Which? has been holding with the general public on all things food and trade; and Simon Doherty from Vet Sustain (and Past President of BVA). Helen Browning OBE, farmer, Chief Executive of Soil Association and member of the Food Ethics Council, will chair the discussion.

The meeting will provide an opportunity to:

  • Reflect on what the UK public tell us they want from trade in animal products
  • Assess future trends in meat & dairy production and the role of imports
  • Explore how we can accelerate the shift towards all meat and dairy being better for people, animals and the planet – including further strengthening UK standards
  • Consider what UK government and food businesses should do to take an ‘in the round’ approach and strike an appropriate balance when it comes to meat & dairy imports

To register, please book via Eventbrite using the ‘sign up’ button.

Note – this online meeting is for Business Forum members (although we are allowing Business Forum members to invite one person from outside Business Forum membership who they think would find this valuable e.g. supplier or customer)


10th November 2020
5:00 - 7:00 pm


Impact Hub King's Cross
York Way

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