By Richard Griffiths, Chief Executive, BPC

Today, poultry accounts for half the meat eaten in this country. From farm to fork and from processing plant to export, we have built a strong track record of feeding the nation and embodying the ‘Great British Food Values’ that our consumers demand from our food.

I’m pleased with what we’ve achieved in the last twelve months, specifically around safeguarding our world-class health and welfare standards, all of which have been hard won through years of experience. And I’m proud to represent a crucial food sector that is determined to use Brexit as an opportunity to re-focus our food system and stimulate investment to produce more British Food.

Facing Brexit, British food and confidence in our farmers and producers is more important than ever. Which is why I’m delighted that our politicians are now joining us in celebrating the ‘Values’ that we put into producing our food and the high animal welfare and environmental standards which we uphold.

As the Secretary of State Michael Gove highlighted in his speech at our annual reception in December, we are seeing willingness from our Government to work with us to ‘ensure that our success story is written in even bolder colours for generation to come’. We are delighted to have this level of support from the Government as it inspires the industry and gives confidence to our farmers to invest in new technology and nurture talent.

As we look ahead at 2018, our sector stands committed to bolster the heart of Britain’s food supply. We are going to work with the Government to harness our productivity, drive efficiency and strengthen our supply chains. We’ll further enhance the image of our sector, raise awareness of career opportunities and invest in developing skills of our workforce. We will also carry on demonstrating our commitment to continuously evolve, and nurture the trust and confidence that our consumers have in our food.

Another key area of our work will be securing continued access to EU markets for trade (70% of our trade is with EU countries) as well as opening third country markets.  This will allow us to carry on feeding the nation with safe, nutritious and affordable food by allowing for return on investment to be spread across the carcase and increase our competitiveness at home and abroad.

From increasing our productivity to ensuring that we have access to non-UK labour in areas where UK labour simply isn’t available; we will do everything we can to ensure that our success story continues for decades to come.

This column was first published in Poultry World Magazine.