My favourite reporter, Charlotte Smith, was on the BBC Farming Today programme early this morning talking to a lamb exporter. He was worried that the EU may impose a new 40% tariff on our sheep and lamb exports.
I wept for the man.
Years ago, let’s say in the 1960/70s I bought lamb from Covent Garden, our major meat market in London. I’m sure I paid under £2 for half a lamb.
Today lamb s the most expensive meat we can buy in the UK. The exporter revealed why: we export 40% of our sheep and lamb meat to the EU. That us rising rapidly, our exports last year are up by over 90%. Australia appears to be the loser, as they have seen a drastic fall in the value of their exports.
It can be seen that the increased value that a few exporters gain from our wonderful British lamb is really coming from our own pockets. Lamb is now an expensive meat. Why? We grow enough animals. Not when we export 40% of the product.
We have got to realise that we can only export the excess of our food products. For the country it is cheaper to grow and consume than to buy, or sell, abroad. Exports only help a minority of people.
I remember a time when it was normal for folk to enjoy a Sunday dinner. Roast meat with all the trimmings. Pork, chicken, beef and lamb were all affordable. The lamb was often there because of our admirable cousins in New Zealand. You may recall how they suffered when the EU imposed tariffs upon their imports.
Well folks, it is about to happen again. We must refuse to export at high tariffs, instead offer such food to our own people. We have allowed ourselves to believe that all foods are always available. That’s not really true without importing, and we buy in abut 60% of our foodstuff now.
Corvid-19 may change all that.