Brexit continues to shake up the UK Food Industry
We are sure that the effects of Brexit have been quite large but it is also clearly seen now in the food and drink industry.
The fragility is increasing as the confidence in the market is being lost with the passage of time. According to a survey taken on Wednesday, UK’s largest manufacturer has revealed that it is facing very tough trading conditions over all.
The sales might be getting higher since 2013 but the (FDF) members report soaring ingredient prices, lesser product margins and many other issues for the future of EU workforce. This shall more likely continue for the next 12 months.
This industry is in UK’s largest sector and makes up for 16% of total turnover of manufacturing. It provides jobs for 400,000 people with a annual turnover of 83.7 billion pounds.
Like many UK chains it has additional 108 billion pounds support with 3.9 million jobs and 21.5 billion pounds over a year are added to the economy. This is with the automotive and aerospace contributes collectively.
There are big names who are members of the UK based FDF. These include Coca Cola, Britvic, McVitie’s, Mr Kipling etc while there are also smaller ones like oatcake maker Maclean’s Highland Bakery.
About 69.5% were found to be less confident about the business environment of UK; there were also 11% who were more confident than before. This survey is in line with the latest quarterly numbers from many UK retailers.
According to the FDF, here is disparity between business levels and consumer confidence levels.
They are now looking to have an industrial strategy partnership with the government so that it can have urgent assurances for the workforce. If successful they shall have the right to remain in EU.
About 3/4s or 71% to be exact, companies have said in the survey that employees are concerned about the outcome of the referendum. There is about one company in 12 (8.7%) who say that their employees are intending to leave UK.
Out of the 400,000 workforce, 130,000 people are estimated to be non UK nationals. They are from Eastern Europe to do seasonal work in factories and agricultural areas. The FDF director, Ian Wright wants to make the best of Brexit but even he has reported the negative effects. They have called urgent action for import of raw materials, ingredients etc from the EU and EU Free Trade Agreement (FTU) from the government for tariffs. Some businessmen have benefited with a weaker pound as exports are more competitive because they have tariff free access.