THE MP for Montgomeryshire, has welcomed today’s announcement of a new Trade and Agriculture Commission, which will focus on food standards in international trade deals.

Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss said the Commission will make recommendations for agricultural trade policy, higher animal welfare standards and export opportunities for farmers.

The commission has been created following positive discussions with farmers’ unions and has been welcomed by NFU President Minette Batters as a “hugely important” development.

It comes after a concerted lobbying effort calling for the establishment of a commission on food standards, including a public petition containing more than one million signatures, the NFU has welcomed the commission seeking to help address the challenges of safeguarding the high production standards of British farmers.

The Commission will focus on four key areas:

· Considering the policies that the Government should adopt in free trade agreements to ensure UK farmers do not face unfair competition and that their high animal welfare and production standards are not undermined

· Reflecting consumer interests and those developing countries

· Considering how the UK engages with the World Trade Organization to build a coalition that helps advance higher animal welfare standards across the world

· Developing trade policy that identifies and opens up new export opportunities for the UK agricultural industry – in particular for small and medium sized businesses – and that benefits the UK economy as a whole.

Craig Williams MP said: “I’m really pleased that the UK Government have announced the implementation of a new Trade and Agriculture Commission, which will focus on issues surrounding food standards in international trade deals.

"This is great news for the agriculture sector across the UK and particularly for Montgomeryshire, in ensuring that any future trade policy does not undermine our high environmental and welfare standards.

“I know that both the NFU and the FUW have campaigned hard for this, and I was pleased to be able to make representations on behalf of Montgomeryshire to UK Government Ministers."

He added: “I very much hope that the new Commission will bring clarity to this subject. We need to reinforce how we protect our food and farming standards, as we seek to expand our trade globally.”