Agriculture: Coronavirus

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 1st May 2020.

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Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter Conservative, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the agricultural supply chain.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is aware that COVID-19 represents a very significant challenge, affecting daily life and every part of the economy. We are working closely with stakeholders in the agricultural supply chain to ensure that we understand and manage the impacts on the industry.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Defra has been having frequent meetings with the Agri-Supply Coalition stakeholder group, which is meeting weekly. This group includes stakeholders from across the agricultural supporting industries and has been discussing the effect of COVID-19 on the agricultural supply chain. We have also provided these stakeholders with a central point of contact to send details of any emerging impacts as and when they arise.

Officials are having regular meetings across the different agricultural sectors to understand the specific issues affecting each sector. We remain in regular contact with representatives of the agricultural supply chain and will continue to engage with them on the effect of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and to work closely with the agricultural supply chain to respond to emerging issues as they arise.

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