A national mission. That is how Theresa May described the quest for Brexit success this week, as she warned voters it would take a “great national effort” to make the most of this “great national moment”. When it comes to matters Brexit, “great” may not be the first adjective that springs to everyone’s mind, but few will disagree it will involve an awful lot of hard work.

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For the food & drink industry, the potential challenges are many and varied. Chief among them are two Brexit fault lines we explore in our supply chain special this week: our ports and the Irish border. The crucial role they play in underpinning our food security cannot be overstated.

The testimony we feature this week is sobering. Supply chain and logistics experts warn of chaos at the borders and report how key fresh produce contracts are already up in the air as European suppliers wait to see what Brexit will bring.

Meanwhile, our trading partners in Ireland speak of their “dismay and disappointment” and their deep fears over a potential hard Brexit - and a hard border. “No deal is better than a bad deal” is an election battle cry no one wants to see tested in the cold light of day, and one of the first places it would collide head on with reality is along the UK-Irish border.

None of this is to suggest the industry has to take these challenges lying down or, indeed, that there aren’t opportunities. Companies across UK food & drink are busy crunching data, mapping scenarios and - in the case of Dawn Meats and Dunbia  - exploring new strategic partnerships.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest food & drink is ready to be part of a “national mission”, as May envisages. But government needs to play its part, too. Whoever ends up in No 10 needs to prove they are serious about wanting to make UK food & drink a success. That they understand the unique challenges for this industry - and are prepared to listen and act. Most importantly, that they have a serious, coherent industrial strategy and a long-term plan for UK food and farming.

We don’t just need a national mission for Brexit. We need a national mission for UK food.