Britain leaving the EU would increase the cost of food and drink for caterers, according to procurement specialist Prestige Purchasing.
At a breakfast briefing hosted by Prestige Purchasing recently, the company's CEO David Read said the combination of a weakened sterling, import tariffs and rising labour and energy costs would likely push up the price of food and drink.
Speaking at the event for hospitality and foodservice operators, he said: "It's important to understand the heavy reliance we have on imported product in the UK, as we run a £21b trade gap in food alone. We produce only around 60% of our food, and 27% of it is imported from the EU. As recently as last year sterling appreciated against the euro by 9%, which impacted the UK's total food basket positively by over 2%."
Citing a recent report from Defra that forecast imported food prices rising by 11%, he added: "The scale of price increases are difficult to predict, particularly as global food prices remain generally quite soft currently, but the potential range of increases is wide. Smart caterers will be clear about contingency plans in advance of the vote."
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