NFU Scotland is urgently requesting its members to contact their MPs ahead of the UK government’s Agriculture Bill’s anticipated return to the House of Commons next week.
The bill is currently in its final stage of scrutiny in the House of Lords where several crucial amendments have been adopted.
The amendment would also require the commission, which includes NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick in its membership, to report to Parliament on how best government can meet its manifesto pledge not to compromise on the UK’s high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards through its international trade policy.
Parliament is required to consider such advice before any trade deal is signed.
Furthermore, the amendment is implicit that it will continue working as long as there are trade negotiations to scrutinise.
'Support these essential improvements'
Before the bill heads for its final stages, NFU Scotland is asking members to write to their MPs with urgency, calling for them to use their votes to support these essential improvements relating to the UK’s standards of agricultural production.
NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said:
"Scottish agriculture prides itself on provenance and quality and herein lies the opportunity of new trade agreements.
For this reason, it is vital that future trade deals do not curtail our ability to grow our reputation as a nation of quality food and drink by undercutting domestic production with imports produced to standards illegal or unacceptable here.
"The debate around future trade agreements and standards of production is one which has mobilised large parts of the NFU Scotland membership and more than a million UK consumers have signed up to back UK standards in recent months.
"Through my participation on the Department for International Trade’s Trade and Agriculture Commission, I will advocate at every turn to ensure that Scottish and UK standards of production are considered in the negotiation of new and other trade agreements.
"That is what the public wish to see," he concluded.