Food and Drink Federation offers fresh Brexit warning over ‘Operation Yellowhammer’

The UK’s Food and Drink Federation has responded to the release of the government’s Yellowhammer Report on the potential impact of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, warning of the need for greater transparency.

As the organisation, which represents a broad cross section of industry including major confectionery groups operating in Britain, says, the full situation which the sector is facing should be made clear to the public and business segments alike.

Confectionery Production has previously reported on the fact that a number of key manufacturers have been making moves to stockpile supplies and ingredients in the event that the UK is unable to reach a settlement with the EU over its proposed departure. After being delayed several times, the revised date of Britain’s exit from the trading bloc is fast approaching on October 31.

But with the government’s decision to shut down parliament until the middle of next month facing legal challenges, uncertainty still surrounds whether a further extension to the UK’s membership of the EU will continue in a bid to finally find a mutually acceptable deal. The Food and Drink Federation has repeatedly warned that Britain’s multi-billion sector of industry faces major challenges to ‘just-in-time’ logistics arrangements without any formal agreements in place that are presently provided by membership of the EU.

Speaking on the publication of the government’s  Yellowhammer Report, Food and Drink Federation Chief Executive Ian Wright CBE said: “It is as the Food and Drink Federation have been saying for the best part of two years now – it lays bare the grisly crisis facing the UK’s food and drink supply chain in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

“And shoppers have rightly come to expect a wide range of products on supermarket shelves. In a no- deal Brexit scenario there would be significant and adverse changes to product availability, and random shortages. Government must be upfront about the chaos a no-deal Brexit would bring.”

In addition to stockpiling of supplies, some manufacturers, including Mars, potentially face product shortages for UK products, with its classic bar range containing several ingredients sourced from within the EU, which would face delays under a No Deal Brexit as logistics chains potentially become far more complex with uncertain regulations surrounding import and export checks.

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