Welcoming the new cabinet and ministerial posts announced by Prime Minister Theresa May today, Dairy UK Chief Executive Dr Judith Bryans said:
"We congratulate Mrs May on her appointment as Prime Minister and we ask her to help us shape a better future for the dairy industry by securing robust trade deals, implementing fair food and drink legislation on par with our competitors and supporting industry competitiveness with easy access to a skilled workforce.
"The UK dairy industry has tremendous potential for growth in the global stage and the Government must provide the right framework to help make our sector more resilient, competitive and profitable. With so many opportunities for new markets arising across the world, the Government must act swiftly to conclude free-trade agreements with major partners lest we get left out of the global game. And it goes without saying that, given the intricate links between the UK and the EU, both in terms of players and products, we must have continued access to the EU market. We will need robust trade agreements which remove tariff and non-tariff barriers to allow us to take our place in the global market and be a strong and credible competitor.
"Given the tremendous impact of the European Union on food and drink legislation, the new Government will have to take every precaution to provide a level playing field with fair regulations on par with our competitors abroad. Similarly, access to a skilled workforce is crucial for our industry to remain competitive and must be a top priority in any Brexit negotiations.
"We congratulate Mrs Leadsom on her appointment as Defra Secretary of State and we particularly look forward to building a strong working relationship with her and continuing our constructive collaboration with Defra officials. The dairy industry has serious challenges ahead but also many opportunities and we ask Mrs Leadsom and her team to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for our industry throughout the Brexit negotiations. Dairy is vital to Britain's economy, environment and diet and therefore it is clearly within the Government's interest to ensure that this industry is well-supported. There is much at stake and we count on Defra's support to foster growth and success in our great UK dairy industry.
"Our industry is adaptable, resilient and determined with the skills and innovation to rise to the many challenges we encounter. We will continue to liaise with the UK Government, devolved administrations and all relevant organisations to promote the interests of the UK dairy sector and help to steer our industry in the right direction."