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Thousands of UK jobs at risk from cheap poultry imports - T&G

by 5m Editor
16 March 2005, at 12:00am

UK - Thousands of rural jobs in the UK may be at risk if European Union plans to allow more cheap poultry imports from non-EU countries go ahead according to the Transport and General Workers Union.

T&G - Thousands of UK jobs at risk from cheap poultry imports - UK - Thousands of rural jobs in the UK may be at risk if European Union plans to allow more cheap poultry imports from non-EU countries go ahead according to the Transport and General Workers Union.

The T&G, the 'plough to plate' union and largest trade union in food and farming, has warned of the dire potential consequences to the UK poultry industry as cheap, subsidised products, which do not have to meet the same rigorous animal welfare standards as this country, are poised to increase by 275,000 tonnes.

The union's General Secretary, Tony Woodley, has written to Defra Secretary of State Margaret Beckett to ask for a meeting to discuss the issues raised in more detail and what the UK government's response will be.

In his letter Mr. Woodley says on behalf of the six thousand T&G members directly involved that he hopes the government does take action to safeguard the future of the industry. "We believe that the proposals would threaten thousands of rural UK jobs, as the impact of lower non-EU production costs is felt to a greater extent than ever before.

For example, the government supported industry of Brazil can produce poultry product at 40% less cost on average than UK producers," he wrote to Mrs. Beckett. "I would very much appreciate the opportunity to meet with you in the near future to discuss this very important matter in more detail. It would also be of great benefit if the government could explain what position it has taken to date within the EU on this matter."

The T&G await a reply from the Secretary of State.

Source: Transport and General Workers Union - 16th March 2005

5m Editor