Germany’s BDSI warns of slump in UK confectionery exports due to Brexit trading complications

The Federal Association of the German Confectionery Industry (BDSI) has expressed further concerns over exports to the UK – with the country’s first quarter sales figures down 11.8% attributed to Brexit-related trading complications, writes Neill Barston.

As the organisation revealed, around 5% of the nation’s sweets sector depends on British markets, which it says are threatened with long-term damage arising from new additional logistical and administrative burdens that have come fully into effect this year following the UK’s decision to exit the EU – which has seen significant financial impacts upon a number of industries.

According to the BDSI because of the new customs regulations, many freight forwarders are now reportedly no longer doing business with Britain, such is the bureaucratic effort increased significantly when declaring goods or because of work visas for drivers. As a result, exporting smaller deliveries of goods is no longer worthwhile. Additionally this leads to difficulties and delays in deliveries to the UK Market as well as significantly higher logistics costs that have been felt on both sides of the channel.

As previously reported by Confectionery Production, the concerns raised by the BDSI have been mirrored by many small-to-medium-sized enterprises within the UK, including Love Cocoa, Nim’s Fruit Crisps and Plamil, which all recently relayed issues relating to enhanced costs and time-delays relating to trading with EU neighbours since Brexit that had caused considerable financial and logistics concerns.

The UK’s Road Haulage Association has stated there is now a huge shortage of HGV drivers totalling 100,000, created by Brexit, Covid and reports of a shortage of training opportunities amid the pandemic. This has led to notable supply chain issues including delays to deliveries for major confectionery groups including Haribo, as well as reports of wider supply shortages to national restaurant chains including Nando’s and McDonald’s.

The BDSI added that exports were particularly important to the sector, given the high level of competition that exists domestically, with international sales traditionally proving especially valuable.

“From the point of view of the German confectionery industry, after the departure of Great Britain It is essential that the European internal market is no longer replaced by national special regulations that are fragmented, but harmonised regulations above all in the field of labelling relating to export opportunities of medium-sized companies, “says Dr. Carsten Bernoth, General Manager of the BDSI.“

“In addition, should trade agreements suitable for medium-sized companies, new value chains may be enabled, but  the trade agreement between the European Union and UK is not a prime example of this,” he added of the UK’s 11th-hour agreement with Brussels in December 2020.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously lauded the deal – which UK Ministers are little more than seven months after promoting it, have suggested should now be revised.

“We have completed the biggest trade deal yet, worth £660 billion. A comprehensive Canada style free trade deal between the UK and the EU, a deal that will protect jobs across this country. A deal that will allow UK goods and components to be sold without tariffs and without quotas in the EU market,” said the Prime Minister last December – but just months into the new agreement, significant concerns emerged across multiple fields of industry over major increases to logistics and administrative costs of processing orders with the EU.



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