Affects of pandemic and Brexit on red meat market

1 July, 2020
Allan Peart

The two main events of 2020, namely Coronavirus outbreak and the up and coming deadline for Brexit, will influence the Red Meat market over the coming year. There are factors that will need to be considered, including the UKs trading relationship with the rest of the World, the increased focus on the environment from both governments and consumers and changing global demand.

The UK is a net importer of Beef and Pork, meaning we import more that we export so the UK’s own external tariff will play a critical role. The UK is also reliant on the EU for lamb exports, so the cost of access to that market is vitally important along with our independent trading relationship with the rest of the world.

Supply and demand will dictate the prices in the short term. As the UK leaves the EU it is free to sign is own free trade agreements and the differences between international production systems will come under more scrutiny. World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules have much less to say about methods of production than they do about the final product itself. Some countries even argue against country of origin labelling which is something the UK have always insisted on. Eateries will need to put a monetary value on the security of supply or as it’s been reported by AHDB “Britishness” versus the potential of less transparency of lower cost production from elsewhere.

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