The Soil Association has launched a Brexit-support service to help organic businesses prepare for a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

The service consists of a Brexit-support phone line, email address and online chat system.

The dedicated team will help answer questions and provide up-to-date information to the sector. A new Brexit-support web page has also been launched, including key information and requirements needed in order for the organic sector to prepare for Brexit.

The website will be kept up-to-date and live throughout October. The Soil Association will also run a number of expert webinars.

The service is open to all organic businesses in the UK, not just those certified by Soil Association Certification.

The creation of the Brexit-support service comes at a critical time for the UK’s organic sector, with the Soil Association warning that a no-deal exit brings “maximum uncertainty” for organic food and farming.

Currently, in the event of no-deal, UK organic producers will not be able to export to the EU unless certified by an EU-approved organic control body.

Soil Association Certification and other UK certification bodies are unable to officially apply for this status until the UK has left the EU, any break in recognition would mean organic exports from the UK to the EU would effectively be blocked.

Liz Bowles, associate director of farming, said: “A no-deal Brexit brings maximum uncertainty for organic food and farming, raising critical issues on the ability to trade and export. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, recognition of UK organic certification by the EU is anticipated to cease overnight with a prospect of a prolonged period when organic exports to the EU could become impossible.

“An ongoing lack of clarity and progress from government, despite the work of many organisations in the sector, means we are still no clearer how long this break in the ability of organic businesses to export will be. Any break – whether it is six days or six months – could be devastating for many organic businesses.”

Businesses wishing to contact the support service should email or call 03334141451.

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