13 March 2020, 12:12 PM
  • With the clock ticking through the UK's 11-month transition period with the EU, are exporting producers any clearer on where they stand?
“Common sense will prevail once the political posturing has receded”

Paul Rostand, director of Great British Biscotti (pictured):
“The biggest worry for the UK consumer is that when you take into account around 30% of all food eaten in the UK comes from the EU, which amounted to around £34 billion in 2017, if no deal is achieved we will have to apply WTO rules to those imports resulting in price rises to consumers from anything between 15-25% – causing over £9-10 billion of food inflation!

“For small producers like ourselves this is going to have a dramatic impact on our exports to the EU. We have had to adapt pricing to enable the goods to get onto the shelves in supermarkets at a competitive price to be comparable to the UK, although we have all the added cost of transport along with higher margin requirements – add onto that the WTO tariffs of 20/25% it is going to be extremely hard to grow our exports and more likely we will see our sales decline for the foreseeable future.

“However, I personally believe that common sense will prevail once the political posturing has receded. In other words they will realise they need our markets just as much as we need theirs and that although we will have a bumpy interim period deals will start to be struck between the UK and EU.”

Craig Benton, managing director of The London Deli Company:
“There are many, many challenges in terms of exporting to Europe and further afield. There is a constant change in legislation with many countries, especially USA and Canada, and back of pack labelling requirements are always changing which is very challenging for manufactures and brand owners. Also, market trends are moving so fast that certain products that really struggled are now doing very well. Regarding exporting to Europe, it is still very unclear what will be required in terms of paperwork and compliance because nobody knows.

“I export further afield where I find less challenges, but that recently has had some disadvantages including freight and shipping prices.”

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