Policy briefing: Protecting farmers’ ability to co‑operate after Brexit

Farming - illustration (peppers)

This paper sets out how important elements of the existing competition exemptions for agricultural co‑operation are to be retained in UK law after Brexit. It also explains how interventions by Co‑operatives UK have helped deliver this outcome.

Key points in this paper are: 

  • Multi-sector farmer co-operatives will not be excluded out of hand by the high-level design of the new producer organisation (PO) and associations of producer organisation (APO) frameworks
  • A broad range of farmer co-operatives will still benefit from competition exemptions without having to be recognised as POs, APOs of inter-branch organisations (IBOs)
  • At least some of the UK’s competition exemptions will still be grounded in Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) objectives as set out in TFEU39, in UK law, even after Brexit
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