Friday 22 June 2018

Brexit beefs pile up for food sector

The UK is the Irish food and drink industry’s largest trading partner. Stock image. GettyImages
The UK is the Irish food and drink industry’s largest trading partner. Stock image. GettyImages

Gretchen Friemann

Ireland's food and drink companies fear the UK's exit from the European Union will leave them grappling with hefty custom compliance costs and disrupted supply chains, according to Ibec's latest survey of the sector.

More than eight out of 10 companies cited the greater regulatory cost burden as their top Brexit concern.

Food and Drink Ireland (FDI), which is affiliated to employers' group Ibec, said the industry fears the impact of Brexit the most, but remains better prepared than other sectors.

The prospect of further adverse exchange-rate volatility is also causing alarm. The UK is the Irish food and drink industry's largest trading partner. In its report, the FDI highlighted new analysis from Ibec, which shows "the deterioration in sterling has in effect wiped out the last 10 years of competitiveness gains for food exporters as measured by the EER but had a much more muted impact on the wider economy".

FDI's finding are based on a recent Ibec Brexit survey of more than 450 businesses.

FDI director Paul Kelly urged the Government to "implement policies to help mitigate the risks facing the sector by addressing cost competitiveness in the economy and helping companies innovate and improve productivity."

Irish Independent

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