Last reviewed 31 July 2020

The newly launched Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) will bring together animal welfare, consumer and environmental groups as part of the Government’s drive to engage the public and industry in decisions about the UK’s trade policy. Set up by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, it will be chaired by Tim Smith, former head of the Food Standards Agency.

The TAC will be expected to advise on trade policies the Government should adopt to secure opportunities for UK farmers, while ensuring the sector remains competitive and that animal welfare and environmental standards in food production are not undermined.

It will also explore how the UK engages the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to build a coalition that helps advance higher animal welfare standards across the world while developing trade policy that identifies and opens up new export opportunities for the UK agricultural industry.

Ms Truss said: “This is about putting British farming at the heart of our trade policy and ensuring that our agriculture industry is amongst the most competitive and innovative in the world.”

One of the Commission’s first tasks will be to produce a report which considers the policies that Government should adopt in free trade agreements (FTAs) and which reflects consumer interests and those of developing countries.

Mr Smith said: “This is a critical moment in time for UK farmers and food producers. There is a real appetite for growth and for seizing new opportunities. For consumers, who we will place at the centre of our work, there is an opportunity to build trust in our existing world class standards and to demonstrate the value of those standards to the global market.”