The impact of the UK’s departure from the European Union upon food systems, both nationally and internationally, is unprecedented and to a large extent unknown.

The scale of change extends from new governance of land use and agriculture, to new trade laws with the potential to affect competition, supply and demand, and standards, as well as implications for supply chains including migrant labour and traceability.

N8 AgriFood, through its research projects and the expertise of its academics across the programme, has been shedding light on how the effects of Brexit will be felt across the food system, identifying risks and opportunities from field to fork. Our experts have been engaging with Government, Industry and NGOs to give an evidence-based insight in to how new policies and legislation will shape the resilience of future food systems.

N8 AgriFood brought academics and industry together at an invitation only workshop to discuss potential impacts on agri-food supply chains post Brexit. Attendees included Defra, WHICH?, HM Treasury, NFU, RSPCA and other non N8 academic institutions. The event was hosted by Newcastle Chair Professor Mark Reed and Leeds Chair Professor Fiona Smith, who were both subsequently invited to present the outcomes regarding the impacts of leaving the EU on food systems to Defra. A policy insight was created from the workshop to advise Government addressing 3 key recommendations:

  • The role of private actors in relation to World Trade Organisation rules.
  • Embedding longevity into measures designed to deliver environmental public goods.
  • Embedding waste prevention strategies into the agri-food supply chain.

The full recommendations can be found below.

Here are further outputs of the expertise we have shared: