Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 13 December 2018

Food exporters stockpiling in Britain ahead of Brexit deadline

Ornua is among a number of Irish concerns that have increased their storage capacity in Britain
Ornua is among a number of Irish concerns that have increased their storage capacity in Britain
Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Irish food exporters are preparing to stockpile product in Britain in order to limit the damage from a hard Brexit.

Ornua is among a number of Irish concerns that have increased their storage capacity in Britain ahead of the March 29 Brexit deadline.

“As the full implications of Brexit are unclear, Ornua is managing downsides and preparing for uncertainty. As such, Ornua has increased its storage capacity in the UK,” a spokesperson told the Farming Independent. “

This is to ensure a consistent and secure supply of product to meet the needs of Ornua’s customers in the UK market,” the spokesperson added.

In the event of a hard Brexit, imports from the EU into Britain will be subject to tariffs.

There are also fears of significant transport disruption.

Storage capacity across the midlands and south of England is reported to be “as scarce as hens’ teeth” as companies compete for space.

Recently, The Co-Operative, Britain’s sixth largest supermarket group, said on Friday it could not guarantee shortages of some food products would be avoided in the event of a “no deal” Brexit.

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Cadbury owner Mondelez International is also stockpiling ingredients, chocolates and biscuits in Britain to avoid interruptions to business in the event of a hard Brexit.

Recent signals from Brussels have buoyed hopes that the United Kingdom and the European Union can agree a proper divorce agreement before the UK leaves the bloc on March 29.

But many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement, thrusting the world’s fifth largest economy into a “no-deal” Brexit that they say would clog up the arteries of trade.

Last month Brexit minister Dominic Raab sought to reassure Britons that the army would not be called in to distribute food in the event of a hard Brexit.

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