Morrisons warns of higher supermarket prices if no Brexit deal
What can EU produce sector expect after Brexit?
With the UK all but certain to leave the EU in 2020, the European fruit and vegetable industry is viewing with great concern the potential impact this will have on intra-EU trade flows. A recent Rabobank report found that fresh produce will be the most affected food sector following Brexit, along with animal protein. At a time when the EU agricultural sector is still adjusting to the fallout of the Russian embargo, the potential loss of another key market could have devastating consequences.
Effects of a no-deal Brexit?
What are the outcomes of a no-deal Brexit? The contents of shelves in UK supermarkets could change. About 30% of the UK’s food currently comes from the EU, and fresh vegetables and fruit will become more expensive due to increased import taxes and transport delays. Moreover, there may be a fall in the value of the pound, which would compound the price rise. Supermarkets themselves have already warned that there could be empty shelves and higher prices and the Bank of England has said that shopping bills could increase by 10% in a worst case scenario.
Inland food checks if Brexit ends in no-deal
Defra has announced that rather than border checks, should there be a no-deal Brexit, food inspections will take place inland to ensure compliance with protocols. With the official Brexit date looming (29th March), Defra has confirmed that marketing standards processes at UK borders will not change in the short term if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. However, these arrangements are only temporary. The measure does not apply to green banana imports from the EU, with importers told to contact the PEACH helpdesk or the SASA Horticulture and Marketing Unit as appropriate.
Chile and UK seal trade continuity agreement as Brexit looms
Chile is the first country to sign a post-Brexit deal with the UK. On Wednesday 30th January, representatives of the two countries met in Santiago to seal a bilateral trade continuity agreement to protect Chilean exports from the impacts of Brexit. The Chilean Government press release states that the agreement mimics the conditions of the current trade deal that Chile has with the EU, this finding a positive solution to a potentially highly complex situation. The agreement also includes a series of instruments to amplify and modernize its coverage.
Southern African citrus growers welcome Brexit
Brexit should see a normalisation of citrus trade between southern Africa and the UK, “unencumbered by protectionism, tariffs and technical barriers to trade,” says the Citrus Growers Association of southern Africa.
In his weekly newsletter, published on July 1, CGA CEO Justin Chadwick also said exiting the European Union could see consumers in the UK – the biggest importer of southern African citrus in the past century, taking about 10% of its total citrus exports – enjoy southern African citrus at lower prices.
How Brexit could disrupt the UK’s fresh produce trade
Ceasing to enjoy the benefits of the 36 free trade agreements signed by the EU with non-EU countries is among the consequences the UK – heavily reliant on external imports of fresh produce – could face it is exits the EU. This is one of the issues raised by Freshfel Europe, the European Fresh Produce Association, is the wake of the UK referendum result in favour of leaving.
In a press release on the potential impact of Brexit, the organisation said it is “severely concerned” by the economic consequence the outcome of the referendum may have on the fresh produce sector.