Favourite Foods (Chap 11)
Coffee Because coffee is traded in dollars and the pound has lost to the dollar since the Referendum, coffee prices have gone up. There have also been droughts in Brazilian and Kenyan coffee growing regions pushing prices up to. "A ‘no deal’ scenario by default would return us to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules (when we have been let in). We would see tariffs of 7.5 per cent on roasted coffee and 9 per cent on instant coffee,” according to the BCA. There is no tariff on unroasted (raw beans) coffee. The tariffs on instant and roasted are to protect EU roasters and put off capital investment in the host countries. 'We' want to do the 'value adding'.
When we are buying a coffee, a large fraction of what we spend is not on what the beans cost as they came out the plantation, or arriving in Felixstowe, from Rotterdam - where most of our coffee comes into EU. There are no taxes on raw coffee beans, but 7.5% on roasted coffee - to protect EU coffee houses. We pay for their transport, the wages of the baristas, the coffee house’s profits, and the costs of advertising. The price of that cup of cappuccino (the name comes from Capuchin monks who wear robes of similar colour to the drink. They created first ever plantations with local Indian workers - who revolted) is largely service based. If we come out of the EU what would we want to do with the 7.5% roasted coffee tax? it may be that coffee in a coffee shop becomes dearer while a cuppa at home cheaper. That is because we may have to pay baristas more to keep them here.
Egged OnWorries over the return of battery eggs 'Compassion in World Farming' have warned that the Government’s plans - in the event of a 'No Deal' - to reduce tariffs on overseas egg imports to 0% could see eggs from battery-caged hens back on our menus. We could potentially open the door to the import of eggs (mainly as powder) produced in cages that have been banned in the UK (as part of EU) since 2012. In the EU, egg producers have to comply with European legislation covering environmental protection, animal welfare and food safety. The total costs of European legislation based on the situation in 2012 is estimated to be more than 15% of the total production costs to produce eggs at farm level. In Argentina, India and Ukraine there is no legislation on animal welfare and laying hens are housed in conventional cages with a space allowance of 300 to 400 cm2 per hen.
Egg growers have submitted a FoI (Freedom of Information) to government asking them to explain why they decided on 'no tariff' when importing eggs, in event of 'No Deal'. They claim this "would allow imports from the USA, Ukraine, India and Argentina, where battery cages are still used." The government Minister (Lord Gardiner) said that "Existing UK import standards will still apply. The level of tariff applied does not change what can and cannot be imported.” This refers to the role of 'non tariff' barriers/standards..hmm complex issue..these can only be enforced on other countries provided we do the same - which we do as a result of being in the Single Market.
Butter George Eustice tells Marr in reklation to possible tariffs put on butter imports. 'Lurpak must open butter factories in England just to sell into Brexit UK' This is very old fashioned protectionism . Hi there,Lurpak here."It is subject to legal origin protections which means that Arla can only produce Lurpak® in Denmark with Danish milk; it can't be produced in the UK". Don’t panic, whatever happens with Brexit, we’re sure we’ll be able to find a way to keep Lurpak coming into the UK. Yes - by paying the tariff!
Food & Drink claims 'Frosted flakes' are healthier than avocados "highlighting agency incompetence and corruption. How is it that: "a highly processed cereal made in a factory could be considered healthier than a fruit plucked directly from a tree"? But that's exactly what the US FDA would have you believe. This is based on the discredited US dietary guidelines that clearly dont work - that fat is 'unhealthy' while sugars are fine. This reflects the sort of change in our diet that Brexit may bring - less of the Mediterranean diet more of the junk food.
Special K team up with Women's Health to tell you to run more. (How many miles to run off a bowl of Special K?)
Most cereals are high in sugar, some up to a third, and not a low sugar snack encouraged by some, according to new dental study. Portion sizes on front of packet labelling are three times higher than those recommended. Look what they are doing in Chile to challenge this sort of advertising.
Child labour yet to be eradicated from Belize sugar industry according to Fairtrade International. "Fairtrade suspended the certification of the entire Belize programme while the local industry worked to address the problem and the programme has since been reinstated... The United States Department of Labor (US DoL) found that the country as a whole had made minimal progress in eradicating the worst forms of child labour, including within sugarcane."
In July 2017, Tesco pulled British sugar from its shelves to be replaced by sugar from Belize -5000 miles away. Despite theoretically not being subject to EU tariffs Belize Sugar Industries has faced many difficulties importing into the UK and the EU which has long favoured domestic beet production. Andrew Wigmore, - who was both diplomatic envoy from Belize to the UK and communications director for the Leave.EU campaign, has been vociferous about this and that Brexit will be a bonanza for the small country. See right column for his demise.
What is incredible is here is a prominent Leave campaigner supposedly 'taking control over our borders' while promoting Belize Sugar Industry, which is owned by the same company that owns Tate & Lyle - er - American Sugar Refining (ASR).
Many cereals get drenched in sugar when eaten, End of EU sugar quotas means we will have even cheaper sugary foods - just what we don't need. Parents not good judges of their own children's sugar intake Children should have no more than 45g sugar/day, but they dont knwo what that means. How to stop eating sugar See 'Obesity' for more.
Wigmore was supposed to be a diplomat (Belize envoy) not a political campaigner. The two are not allowed together under Vienna Convention.
Drinking WaterThe environment secretary was quizzed by the DEFRA committee over a news report which suggested there might be a shortage of chemicals used to treat water if the UK left the EU without a deal. Gove told the MPs: “It is the case that the water industry is reliant on chemicals that are imported from the EU in order to ensure that we have pure and safe drinking water. But it is also the case that the overwhelming majority of those chemicals come in to ports which are not in the narrow straits - they come in through Immingham (in Lincolnshire) rather than through Dover - some come through Dover. It is the case that, prudently, we have talked to the water companies, and I have been talking to the regulator, to make sure that those chemicals can be sourced. However - according to the Mail - Gove backed May's deal, when told by disaster forecasters that said Britain would run out of clean drinking water within days of a no-deal, because of the risk of these chemicals deliveries risk getting caught in weeks of border chaos
Marmite row (Nov 16) is first sign of 'true cost of Brexit for food producers'. "Unilever’s attempt to increase the price, allegedly in response to rising costs as a result of a Brexit-inspired falling pound, was fought off by plucky old Tesco. Critics pointed out that Unilever had also benefited from the falling pound because it exported so many of its products. The company backed down and Tesco won the day. Hurrah."
Marmite gone vegan!
Baked BeansEvery baked bean we eat in Britian is imported, mainly from Canada From beer through to pastries, butters to cured meats, cheeses to pasta, there is a lot that Europe has to offer. What are we left with when we go? In her Facebook post, Maddy feels that she is left with is baked beans. In the still life representation of what Brexit could mean for the UK, we are all beans now. And, Maddy says, the beans are deliberate: ‘Too many beans make you Trump’ Baked beans were originally an expensive foreign import from the US. Heinz HQ is in Manchester near the Mersey Canel - to import the baked beans we don't grow here.The Heinz factory in Kitt Green is one of the largest food factories in Europe, and produces more than 1 billion cans of food every year.Where do these beans come from? Most commercially canned baked beans are made from haricot beans, also known as navy beans – a variety of Phaseolus vulgaris. In Ireland and the United Kingdom, the sauce is a most commonly a tomato sauce. Heinz say 'Beanz meanz heinz'. Since 2008 they are called Heinz Beanz. More about how Henry Heinz used Ketchup to improve Food Safety
Palm Oil'Palm Oil? I never buy that'. But we do, in about half packaged foods, including Pizza (to stop dough sticking) Noodles (pre-cook), ice cream (makes creamy), margarine, chocolate, bread and biscuits, and as vegetable oil. Palm Oil is probably damaging other peoples' land and labour more than any other food crop. Iceland became the first retailer to promise to ban in own branded foods.Sandwiches In the spring of 1980, Marks & Spencer, the nation’s most powerful department store, began selling packaged sandwiches out on the shop floor. By the end of the 20th century, more people in Britain were making and selling sandwiches than working in agriculture. Now it is an £8bn industry. See Chapter 11 as to why the British Sandwich industry want Brexit so they could change ‘use by’ to ‘use by end of ’ on sandwich packaging. Important stuff it seems. Carbon footprint of sandwiches
Bananas We consume about 1.1 metric tonnes a year and the concern is how the present quotas (amount before the tariffs kick in) on bananas will be redistributed after Brexit. The UK (during its Presidency in 1992) persuaded the EU to adopt tariffs on South American bananas - mainly grown by US multinationals, in order to give preferential treatment to Commonwealth countries. Some South American countries have made deals with the EU to gradually remove these tariffs, Commonwealth countries (called ACP - African Caribbean Pacific) banana imports are free of any tariffs.
'The EU have made us have straight bananas' was one of the many myths about the EU. We should remember that many of the standards are also WTO standards..see Codex banana standard
Banana Nut Bread Recipe
The UK currently accounts for 20 percent of the EU’s banana market. African farms are concerned that if Brazil was able to expand its exports to Europe, post Brexit through a new EU trade deal (following the UK's departure), that business could be the death of Africa’s rural business with the Continent. Other Commonwealth countries are also protected by this tariff arrangement which could - almost certainly would, be lost. I wonder what our 'old friends' who are supposed to welcome our possible new found trading freedom think of the possibilities on no future protection. More on possible consequences of Brexit on ACP banana producers
Daniel Hannon, the so-called ‘Brain of Brexit’ went on a rant about banana tariffs which turned out to be a banana skin. The SE England MEP moaned that the tariffs were costing Brits 114 Euro per tonne - 'that’s a scandalous 1.5p per banana'. Clearly he didn't realise that these tariffs don’t apply to African, Caribbean or Pacific bananas at all.
TasteFood taste 'not protected by copyright' rules EU court "The European Court of Justice said the taste of food was too "subjective and variable" for it to meet the requirements for copyright protection.The court was asked to rule in the case of a spreadable cream cheese and herb dip, Heksenkaas, produced by Levola. Levola argued another cheese, Witte Wievenkaas, infringed its copyright." They said the taste of a food must be capable of being classified as a "work" and it had to meet two criteria - that:* It was an original intellectual creation* There was an "expression" of that creation that makes it "identifiable with sufficient precision and objectivity"The ECJ concluded that the taste of a food product cannot be classified as a 'work' and consequently is not eligible for copyright protection under the directive, In July 2018, it decided the Kit Kat did not merit protected status, dealing a major blow to Nestle's lengthy legal battle to trademark the four-finger chocolate barIn June 2017, it ruled plant-based foods such as tofu could not be branded with dairy-style terms
Kebab EU set to ban phosphates necessary to keep kebab meat moist and flavoursome after long time on the spit. 1.3m kebabs sold a day, and employs 200,000 jobs. The EU has a general plan to ban phosphates in meats, but turns a blind eye to this particular use. But when the EU Commission moved to formalise this, the EU parliaments health committee stopped it. Big vote Strasbourg
PotatoesPotato sales are down 5.4 percent while the sale of rice has risen by 30 percent over the past four years. Some claim this is due to an increasing number of young people considering the vegetable to be "inconvenient" and "unhealthy."
EU says UK potatoes "will not be eligible to be marketed because of plant health regulations & has refused to consider a UK application for its certification process to be granted equivalence until the withdrawal negotiations had been concluded." These 'non-tariff'' barriers will be as much of a friction to trade as tariff barriers. That is why they are there - to protect EU consumers.
In the form of Chips, eat as you go along, Still the easiest, cheapest food on the move and not bad for you either..Hang on.Is that right? YES.. A bag of Britain's favourite potato chips is set to rise by 10 percent after maker Walkers said the slump in the value of the pound after the vote to leave the European Union had pushed up its manufacturing costs. The potatoes used to make Walkers' crisps are grown in Britain. So what is the problem? The other ingredients and packaging were imported, Walkers said. Pepsico (who own Walkers) hiking prices of potato because "Whilst our potatoes are British, we import a number of different ingredients and materials to produce a finished packet of Walkers crisps e.g. seasonings, oil for frying and key raw materials used in our packaging film."
The UK is currently in the process of negotiating access for seed potatoes into China
We rely on frozen potatoes from Belgium and Netherlands We produce about £650m out of market of £1.5B. The existing tariff on frozen potatoes is over 14%. So the UK will either have to up production (ending free movement = difficult/costly to hire ppl) or source from non-EU.
Italian balsamic vinegar loose . "The EU's top court has thrown out an attempt by vinegar makers in Italy's Modena province to stop competitors from using the term "balsamic....The producers had argued that each term in the description "Balsamic Vinegar from Modena" was theirs to use exclusively under EU rules.The phrase has been protected as a "geographical indication" since 2009. But the European Court of Justice said this did not mean exclusive use of the word "balsamic".""The term 'aceto' [vinegar] is a common term and the term 'balsamico' [balsamic] is an adjective that is commonly used to refer to a vinegar with a bitter-sweet flavour," it said. #bittersweetbrexit.
There is 'no cake and eat it' option - we have to choose options..What is going to happen to the 15,000 tariffs that are put on any PAPs (Processed Agricultural Products) - like cake, biscuits and pies. Because each consist of a variety of different farmstuffs..flour, fat and eggs for instance, there are lots of different tariffs. on coming out of the Custums Union, are we going to keep them, change them or junk them? The proportions have to be worked out to exert the relevant tax. We don't bother while we move our stuff round the EU..but once outside...THE EU -Canada deal did away with tariffs on these - is this the way others are going? But remember they protect our many of our food manufacturers, making cakes biscuits from cheap imported PAPs..
The EU takes the biscuit The complexity of the EU’s tariffs on bakery products, confectionary and food preparations is in its WTO goods commitments, Annex 1 on ‘composite agrigoods’ The tariffs are horrendously complex. Any PAP has tariff based on a code of around 8 numbers. Codes starting 19 are “preparations of cereals, flour, starch or milk; pastrycooks’ products”. Subdivision 1905 is “bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits and other bakers’ wares, whether or not containing cocoa; communion wafers". Can anybody tell me why the EU has a tariff on 'communion wafers'? Drill down further to 19053095 and you get “other” sweet biscuits, waffles and wafers.
At one point "Fox’s International Trade Department said that we can thrive by selling innovative jam to the French. Until, that is, journalists unhelpfully spoiled the party by pointing out that France is second on the list of global jam exporters, with a volume of some €300m of preserves each year. "Mind you Andrea Leasom also suggetsed our big leap forward was to sell Naan bread to India (possible Deal)
Cuppa tea..This is one of the 'ads' that appeared to selected Facebook users, following Cambridge Analytica's analysis of 'stolen FB data'. They got the data from a 'data-harvesting competition offered to football fans' and were then able to access their friends - around 50million people, in this country. Official Vote Leave campaign spent more than £2.7m on targeting - now so accurate that they 'knew' the difference between hard brexiteers and ambivalent ones. They targeted those who may be hesitant to vote with this sort of ad, to get them to get up and go out to vote.The ads went on to say that the EU wanted ban kettles when making tea. Vote Leave was fined £61,000 after the Electoral Commission found it had breached campaign spending limits. Some ads were viewed 5m times, and since then Facebook has started to clean up this sort of behaviour.
The propaganda against the EU has also included other false food tales, including those about prohibiting our favourite crisp flavours: prawn cocktail and smoky bacon. This was a classic Boris myth. Boris warned the EU was coming for your prawn cocktail crisps in early 1990s, yet they are still in stores today. The EU wanted a harmonised list of safe quantities of food additives, allowing food to be sold freely between member states. When they started drafting a directive on the topic, governments were asked to provide a list of flavourings already in use. The UK neglected to mention an ingredient used in prawn cocktail crisps. But when the lacuna was spotted, it amended the list and so there was no problem. This oversight on the UK’s part was hyped up into a “great war”. At the Ministry of Flavourless Crisps, in this theatre of the absurd, "t never matters whether the stories are true; what matters is that they are ludicrous enough to fly under the radar of credibility and hit the sweet spot where preexisting prejudices are confirmed." from 'The ham of fate'.
'The philistines even want to obliterate the fishy smell of Grimsby.'..talking of which..
Chocolate People stockpiling Mars Bars as Food & Drink Federation warn that in event of no deal, 2 of Mars' 21 ingredients 'go off' within 2 days. Cadbury warned in September that is was stockpiling ingredients, but cannot stockpile these two. The European boss of parent company Mondelez, warned the UK is "not self-sufficient in terms of food ingredients”. He also warned customers could be faced with higher prices and few choices for their chocolate fix.
Betting on what foods may be rationed after 'no Deal', bottom of the list are Mars Bars at 150/1. During his leadership campaign, Boris Johnson opened almost every event he spoke at with a joke about Mars Bars being available after Brexit, saying "where there's a will, there's a whey."
Companies like Hershey’s, Lindt, and Godiva have recognised the devastation they’ve caused to forests through bad cocoa practices. They have committed to transforming their whole supply chains from harmful full-sun monocultures into shade-grown agroforestry cocoa. But Cadbury - not now the company near where I went to school but belonging to Mondelez - refuses to commit to the same.
Much more about cocoa growing - and the UK's role in West Africa - in the Bittersweet Brexit book! If we come out of the EU (or stay in!) we should campaign to change the tariffs on cocoa. At present all cocoa comes in via the EU with 0% tariff on cocoa beans, 7.5% tariff on cocoa powder and 15% tariff on cocoa butter. This is to protect EU chocolate makers but make it difficult for cocoa producers to make any profit from making chocolate and selling into such a lucrative market.
Imports of the delicacy, which is made from the livers of force-fed geese and ducks, could be barred as a way of illustrating the benefits of Brexit. EU single market rules mean that a ban on foie gras by Britain is not legally possible to impose, nor are restrictions on the export of live animals for slaughter. Mr Gove will challenge Labour, which last week mooted a ban, to say whether it, too, was prepared to support diverging from European law. Labour proposed to improve animal welfare as part of a consultation announced on Wednesday.
Gove on right
Catastrophic £34 million bill for Scottish (Oct '19) fishing industry. Andrew Charles, co-chair of the Scottish Seafood Association, said additional paperwork and charges would cost exporters £160 per sale. Calls for Scottish fishing minister. Five separate certificates all have to be done on October 31, and called on governments to meet the costs.Jeremy Hunt in leadership bid says fishing industry will part of £6bn government war chest *because* of Brexit. This might just represent the biggest gulf yet between pre-referendum rhetoric and post-referendum reality. Brexit MEP calls for foreign fishing vessels to be treated like Belgrano "200 miles of exclusion zone with any foreign fishing vessel given the same treatment as the Belgrano "We are the only EU country that allows our fishing quota to be sold - so that now nearly half owned by Spanish Holland & Iceland - 29% by rich list not quant little little fishing boats.Rough water ahead - Fish industry was promised many things...but the government could have done better. "Blue Marine Foundation, with its partners felt that it would be helpful for the UK fishing industry to hear a realistic independent assessment of the current status of fishing in the Brexit negotiations, and the likely outcomes for the industry to balance any unrealistic government spin" saying: "Fishing will likely be traded by the UK for a win elsewhere in the negotiations".
BBC World Service While many British fishermen rejoiced after the UK vote to leave the European Union, hoping fewer EU boats fishing in UK waters, Lesley Curwen visits ports and harbours at both ends of Britain to talk to fisherfolk about their hopes and fears, and hears from a group of European fishers who argue a hard Brexit would destroy thousands of their jobs.
EU Brexit Guidelines (March 2018) "For many coastal communities, the influence of the EU on the UK’s fishing industry was a key reason to vote leave. Brussels is not going to give up its access to UK waters without a fight, and the guidelines insist that “existing reciprocal access to fishing waters and resources should be maintained.” Such a move would be blocked by Environment Secretary.
The UK’s most commercially important fish stock is stripped of its eco-friendly certification following years of overfishing. North East Atlantic mackerel caught after 1 March cannot carry the Marine Stewardship Council’s “blue fish” checkmark, This comes just weeks after Unearthed reported that the UK was on course to ditch a landmark EU legal commitment to end overfishing by 2020. I knew there was something wrong when a couple of years ago I tried to order a mackerel burger - famous in the Harbour Bar, Tenby, only to be told 'Sorry we haven't seen one in ages'. I used to catch them by the bucket load there as a child.
In 2017, UK vessels landed 200+k tonnes of mackerel, earning around £200+m, nearly a third of the total weight of fish and shellfish landed by the UK that year. The rights to fish the UK’s mackerel are highly concentrated, with top 3 making £50+m profits each."
March 2018 Tories urged to apologise to fishing industry for not renogiating the fish quota for the transition period - promised just a week ago. Not only will the fishing industry have to abide by EU rules during this period but they will not have any voting rights during this time - the worst possible scenario. The Scottish Fisherman's Federation say they want cast iron guarantees that "sovereignty will mean sovereignty and we will not enter into any deal which gives any other nation or the EU continued rights of access or quota other than those negotiated as part of the annual Coastal States negotiations.” First Minister on 'Massive Sellout'Their sacrifice has not been in vain, but they were the glorious dead. Fallen in the service of Brexit.
A bit fishy. The government's white paper says it will keep existing quotas and auction any new ones as a result of Brexit. However, smaller fishers want that allocation directly to them - ie a reallocation of quotas from large to smaller fishers. The smaller fishers are also reliant on exports - shellfish in particular, and they may face new tariffs, and even possible blockades.
Much more in NEF's 'Not in the same boat
ChickenTory Minister says 'Chlorinated' chicken means 'clean chicken'. The chlorinated chicken debate represents different ways of dealing with diseases - either preventative at source or clean up (with chlorine) later. This arose as a result of Salmonella crisis of early 1990s, and preventative is more effective - and cheaper - in the long term...
FSA investigates 2 Sisters following allegations of tampering with slaughter dates
Brazil sent 1 million salmonella-infected chickens in last 2 years ""
Will the British public accept chlorine washed turkey. Written by 'the 3 professors', they compared "current UK and EU standards with those in the USA, and concluded that the use of chemical disinfectants by the US food industry posed risks to consumers and workers in the industry".
'Why did the chicken cross the Atlantic?' says: "The real opposition to the US food industry in the EU has always been from Germany and France, not Britain. "
LambLamb farms to the slaughter National Sheep Association says :"“If we lose access for UK sheepmeat, even for a few months, and still allow imported lamb to come in, then our markets will quickly become flooded and prices will plummet, with farmers feeling the brunt of it.”
PizzaThe 'Pizza plot' was hatched in October when one-third of Theresa May's Cabinet met for pizza to debate how to block her Brexit plans. The plotters re-emerged after the Deal was announced when the 5 tried to make changes to the deal
In Sept 2018 small British ships were fishing for scallops in an area around France (Baie de Seine) when they were attacked by French ships. Rocks, smoke bombs and other projectiles were said to be hurled from 35 French trawlers. They were complaining that while the British ships were fishing legally, French ships are not allowed from taking scallops during May-October. A truce has been agree whereby the British receive reasonable compensation.
Latest - this has not been settled..
RiceCompanies such as Tilda are simply moving production. Thirty per cent of the rice it processes at its UK sites is bound for other countries in the EU. “We know what leaving the customs union will look like,” says Jon Calland, head of external affairs for Tilda. “It means the UK will get third-country status.” That could bring with it large tariffs. Tariffs vary according to the sort of rice and can vary between 30.00 - 200 EUR / 1000 kg, depending on which sort. Products like rice, which are only processed in the UK rather than grown here, will fall foul of exceptionally complex “rules of origin”. Tilda has decided to move a third of the business – a third of the turnover, a third of the jobs – out of the UK and into another EU country. “And with it will go the tax we could be paying to the UK exchequer.”
PorkThe EU bans the use of food waste to be fed to pigs - what used to be called 'pig swill'. In the book (p191), I suggested that this is something Brexit could sort - get rid of the ban. Feeding surplus food to pigs. We "could liberate up to 2.5 million tonnes of currently wasted food from the UK’s manufacturing, retail and catering sectors to be fed to pigs – 20% of the UK’s estimated food waste."
Ractopamine to produce leaner pork is another banned in EU but used in USA - where it escapes the USDA organic certificate, as it neither a growth hormone nor an antibiotic. The report shows "it is possible to produce safe feed from surplus food through heat treatment, potentially complemented with acidification."
China not backing down on ban of ractomine Only 26 major meat-producing countries allow ractopamine use, while at least 160 have banned it - inc EU.
"20p is a massive saving to regular, hard-working people, especially after wages drop and the price of food soars, 20p will hold even greater value."
Scottish whisky has protected food status - meaning that to call it Scottish whisky the whisky has to be in a barrel on Scottish soil for at least 3 years. That protected status (known as GI - Geographic Indication) would go in any 'No Deal', as it would only be 'protected' in UK, not the rest of the EU. BJ was pressed on possible tariffs the US could apply to Scotch Whisky during PMQs. BJ said it was absurd. The USA is against GI and would not accept it in any Trump trade deal. So could USA start shipping 'Scottish' whisky here and India.