Farming News - Impacts of UK-France border closure on food and farming

Impacts of UK-France border closure on food and farming

21 Dec 2020
Frontdesk / Arable / Finance

The NFU is currently working hard to understand what the implications are, if any, on UK farmers, after France closed off its borders with the UK to thwart the spread of the new strain of Covid-19.

The move means no lorries or ferries are able to sail from the port of Dover for at least 48 hours resulting in huge queues in Kent.

Much of the trade passing through the Channel ports consists of perishable goods.

NFU head of food and farming Philip Hambling said: “We are working to understand and help deal with any immediate implications of the temporary border restrictions between the UK and France on Britain’s farmers and growers and how this may impact their businesses. We remain in close contact with our partners across the supply chain. where we are reassured that stores are well-stocked and there is plenty of fresh, seasonal British food available.

“It’s crucial this situation is resolved as soon as possible as there will be perishable produce expected to travel to and from the EU in the coming days.”

Food and Drink Federation CEO Ian Wright said,

“36 hours after the French border was closed to accompanied freight, and with 1500 lorries stranded in Kent, it is imperative that a solution is found, today, to this issue. 

 “UK shoppers need have no concerns about food supplies over Christmas, but impacts on local on-shelf availability of certain fresh foods look likely from next week unless we can swiftly restore this link. The Government is right that 80% of trade is unaccompanied, but roll-on, roll-off, accompanied trucks is by far the preferred mode of transport for fresh food. Around half of all our food is imported at this time of year.

 “We must also recognise the terrible toll being taken on UK food exporters and on hauliers. Lorry loads worth millions of pounds are being spoiled. For most, insurance will not cover these losses which must be compensated.”