Prince Charles urges small farmers to form 'global cooperative' to protect their interests


    In an op-ed for The Guardian, the Prince of Wales argued that the needs of family farmers had to be taken into account. “To me, it is essential the contribution of the small-scale family farmer is properly recognised,” he wrote. “They must be a key part in any fair, inclusive, equitable and just transition to a sustainable future.”

    He added: “There are small farms the world over which could come together in a global cooperative committed to producing food based on high environmental standards.”

    His comments come as Boris Johnson continues trade negotiations with Australia, that could see Aussie farmers gain tariff free access to UK food markets.

    The move would see Australian food exporters enjoy the same access rights as their European Union counterparts.

    Currently, Australian beef imports incur a 20 percent tariff charge.

    However, the British Government plans to phase these charges out over the course of the next 15 years.

    In return Canberra is promising to reduce imports on British goods such as Scotch and cars, as well as facilitating greater UK investment in Australia.

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    In particular, they are concerned that UK farmers will be unable to compete against the huge US and South American agrifood companies, that will flood British markets with cheaper products.

    Minette Batters, President of the National Farmers’ Union, warned that “opening up zero-tariff trade on all imports of products such as beef and lamb means British farming, working to its current high standards, will struggle to compete.”

    She said she was “concerned” that Ms Truss was negotiating a deal which would make it “all but impossible” for British family farms “to compete with vast volumes of imports from the Southern Hemisphere”.


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