What is the EFRA committee investigating?

The Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee, a cross-party group of MPs, is calling for evidence on the factors contributing to reports of shortages of food products and workers in key sectors, a steep decline in food exports to the EU and the possibility of food price inflation ahead. 

It said it would consider the impact on competition, and examine the outlook for producers and consumers. 

Last October the Government was accused of being unprepared for Brexit and a second wave of the novel coronavirus​ by the parliamentary committee. 

Deep concern

The Committee has also written to Home Secretary Priti Patel MP, highlighting its “deep concern”​ about labour shortages currently affecting the food supply chain and urgently requesting information about the action the Home Office is taking to address reports of shortages of overseas labour. The letter invites Ms Patel to give evidence to the Committee as part of the new inquiry.  

Ahead of Great Britain introducing checks and controls on food, live animals and related imports from the EU, the committee said that urgent questions remain unanswered regarding authorities’ and businesses’ readiness for new processes. MPs will assess the extent to which the Department of  Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs and other Government departments have thus far taken action.  

Difficult year

“The end of the Brexit transition period and the ongoing pandemic have made 2021 a difficult year for the food supply industry. At present, shortages of key workers including HGV drivers are pushing businesses towards losses and causing issues for consumers, and, as we anticipate the implementation of new import checks, more problems loom over the horizon,​” chair of the EFRA committee, Neil Parish MP, said: 

Source: foodmanufacture.co.uk