Supply chain leaders have expressed “deep concerns” that food and drink prices would almost certainly be impacted once the UK leaves the EU.
A survey of 40 operators with responsibility for significant supply chains – with a combined turnover of £58b – by Prestige Purchasing found that they feared that import tariffs, migrant labour restrictions, and a weakening pound would have a greater impact of food and drink prices than any other factor.
Though the operators were concerned about product availability and quality, there was a greater focus on price and the cost of distributing food post Brexit, with an expectation that prices would rise significantly in March 2019.
Some 73% of respondents thought that leaving the EU without an agreement would have negative supply consequences. Two thirds also said that cancelling or indefinitely delaying Brexit would have positive consequences on their supply chain.
Prestige said that its results indicates that the Chequers Plan scenario was viewed as likely to generate broadly neutral outcomes.
Prestige Purchasing chairman, David Read, said: “This survey shows the deep level of concern about Brexit being felt by supply chain professionals within many of the large and well- established catering businesses in the UK, most of which are household names.”
Since the referendum outcome in 2016 the CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index has shown 11% food and drink inflation, caused mainly by the slump in the value of sterling.