The Eu bans beef that has been reared by regularly using growth hormones. These cost about £5/shot but make up for the cost by encouraging much faster growth. It is predominantly used in US and Australian cattle rearing. Pasture grown lamb is reckioned to be good for the animal and the earth, and corn fed chicken is supposed to give better taste. Dry-cured pork does not absorb that water that comes out when you fry your bacon. These three traits are deemed desirable, although there are no UK nor EU standards to show them off.
Growth hormone beef
Pasture grown lamb
The EU Soils Framework Directive was blocked from being introduced by the UK Labour government in 2007. They then went on tocreate a 'blocking minority' of France, Germany and Austria, who did not like the requirements to declare the state of the soil when selling. Eventually the whole process was dropped in 2014
40% of all the EU regulations and directives relate to food farming and environment - as they have been major EU concerns over many years. The regulations should translate directly into UK law - as they were originally. However Directives give much more discretion for interpretation and should have to go through parliament.
We now import about half our food - according to value, and that amounts (using international calculation from Economic Observatory) to $66B. We export just half that amount.
We import around half the food we eat (by value) and over half of that comes form the EU, particularly Ireland, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
According to the Royal Society B Journal, while importing half our food, we have a disproportionate impact on the environment, by creating 2//3 of our GHGs abroad. That will be the energy to create fertilisers, the release of nitrous compounds from them, the methane from ruminants, and the change in land use from ranch or forest to arable - a source of much carbon loss.
EU subsidies pay out about £100 per acre, so the more you own the more you get. There are about 40 million acres of farm land in UK, but not all claimed - some too small. The total amounts to around £3+ Billion - about the same sum paid out in unemployment benefits. We hear a lot about the latter very little about the former, much going to already rich landowners..
There are over 2000 agricultural tariffs that surround the EU taxing incoming supplies from outside. Once outside the Customs Union, we would have the choice to keep them - putting up food prices where previously EU products would be replaced with supplies from elsewhere. Or if they are removed, our rural communities would be in competition to produced cheaper food than that from New Zealand, the US or elsewhere.
There is a wide range of foodstuffs with a large number of variations of mixtures - particularly flour, butter and sugar, that each require their own tariffs. You can see how hard this would be to check at the border.
There are about 300,000 permanent workers, about half farmers half farm workers. Actual figures are hard to find.
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