On 6 October, British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) Chief Executive Nick Allen spoke on the BBC’s Farming Today programme of the acute problems facing the UK’s pig industry.

As has been widely reported, Brexit has led to a shortage of skilled staff in the pork supply chain, causing severe problems and leading to the risk that more than 100,000 pigs will have to be needlessly slaughtered on farms - bringing back images reminiscent of the foot and mouth disease outbreak two decades ago.The UK Government has blamed the meat industry for not preparing for the impacts of Brexit - but the BMPA and FUW are amongst many organisations that have attended meetings with the UK Government for years and repeatedly highlighted a list of actions that only the UK Government can take to prevent what is now happening. As well as correcting a number of false claims by Defra Secretary of State George Eustice, who seemed indifferent to the problems in the supply chain, Nick Allen told the BBC: "I think philosophically...this government has always been quite comfortable with importing in the future more food from abroad, cheaper imports and not worrying about our food security and producing at home, and I think that philosophy is starting to show now."When asked whether meat production will diminish in the UK, Mr Allen warned: "You can’t help feeling that that’s the course we’re on at the moment. We’ve got a change in the agricultural [support] system that looks as though it’s not going to do much to encourage [food] production. They’re signing trade deals all over the world...The path it seems we’re on is that British production will become a niche product that the wealthier in the country can afford and most of the food [bought by the rest of the population] will be imported cheaper food, and actually if you look at some of the articles some of our politicians have written in the past they subscribe to that theory."By coincidence, this is exactly what FUW Head of Policy Nick Fenwick told a National Sheep Association Breakfast Club webinar held on the same day as the Farming Today interview was broadcast, reiterating warnings the FUW has been making since before the EU referendum.The FUW has often been accused of scaremongering when it has raised such concerns, but when a representative of the companies which supply the vast majority of the UK’s meat makes the same points it will hopefully make people sit up and take notice.This includes those MPs representing rural constituencies which will be devastated by such policies and who currently support the UK Government’s agenda, having taken at face value the positive spin put on UK Government policies on food security and trade deals.We only have to look at the current crisis in the gas market and the rocketing energy prices to see the dangers of being overly reliant on foreign imports - something that even Russia’s President Putin, whose interests lie in selling gas to Europe, has said has directly led to the current gas and energy crisis in Europe.If our food security is further undermined by MPs failing to recognise the dangers of proposed trade deals and UK Government indifference to domestic food supplies, then we will in future face shortages that are far more dangerous than problems with gas supplies, and will make the sporadic food shortages currently being experienced look insignificant.While the Welsh Government and Senedd have no control over trade agreements, they do control Welsh agriculture. If they are to remain loyal to Wales, they must ensure policy changes that impact farmers and producers do not deliberately or inadvertently make them complicit in plans to displace UK food production and producers. -- Helen Thomas, Deputy County Executive OfficerFarmers’ Union of Wales | Undeb Amaethwyr Cymru