The EU remains a key commercial partner, with over 60% of food and drink exports heading to EU markets, according to manufacturing body, the UK’s Food and Drink Federation. It has announced a dramatic fall in sales over the year, saying government funding is urgently needed.
This week the Food and Drink Federation [FDF] confirmed Ireland is the top EU destination for food and drink exports, making up almost 30% of overall sales in the EU. It said maintaining highly integrated supply chains across Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are essential, even as the UK leaves the EU on December 31st.
Dominic Goudie, the FDF’s Head of International Trade, said, “With less than one month to go, businesses are still in the dark about what arrangements will be in place following the end of the transition period in January 2021.”
The report said exports to Ireland have amounted to around 18% of total sales in the past 10 years. But most of the top 10 products exported to Ireland have dropped in value terms.
“Most of the food industry opposes importing US chlorine-washed chicken”
This week, the Chairman of Tesco John Allan estimated a no-deal Brexit will lead to average price increases on food of five per cent.
Speaking to the BBC, he also cautioned against changing UK food regulations after Brexit, saying food suppliers had “no wish to deviate from current [EU] food standards”.
He said most of the food industry opposed imports of US chlorine-washed chicken, for example, saying, “I can’t see us being enthusiastic about contributing to anything that would lower food standards in the UK.”