Will there be food shortages after Brexit and do you need to stockpile food? – Mirror Online
13 AUG 2019
With Ladbrokes already taking bets on post-Brexit rations could Britons be enjoying fun sized portions long past Halloween?
As the Brexit deadline looms, the frighteningly real possibility of a no deal this Halloween is beginning to haunt the UK’s food industry.
With Johnson vowing to take Britain out of the EU this October “do or die”, Brexit jams at the border pose a real threat to our food supply chain.
Ministers have promised an “adequate supply” for the UK come October.
Yet the Food and Drink Federation’s Chief Operating Officer Tim Rycroft says “a no-deal exit is a disastrous outcome for the industry.”
So what exactly is putting borders between Brits and their food?
Which of our favourites are most at risk?
And does the nation need to start stockpiling now?
With No 10 insiders considering no deal the most likely outcome here is what you need to know about your food.
What could end up stopping your supply?
In the UK ‘40% of the food we eat is imported and of that 90% comes from the EU.’
As a result of this much of our supply comes through ports and into warehouses from which it will be distributed.
Sainsbury’s warned that No Deal exit in October is likely to be especially difficult to respond to because of strained warehouse capacity ahead of Black Friday and Christmas.
This becomes a problem when Brexit begins to delay the free movement of these goods causing literal jams in the supply.
This puts perishable goods at risk and affects the co-coordination and direction of supplies.
Experts at the University of Sussex estimate prices will rise by around 7%, due these tariffs and supply chain issues further damaging the industry.
Which of the UK’s favourites could be hit?
Under a no deal circumstance problems with the supply chain may delay supplies drastically.
Perishable foods cannot be stockpiled and without adequate storage space there remains the likelihood of Lorries full of rotting food in English ports.
This means that goods like fresh fruit, dairy and meat are all at risk post Brexit.
In January, some of the UK’s biggest retailers KFC, Pret, Lidl, Co-Op, M&S, Waitrose,
Sainsbury’s, Asda and McDonald’s signed an open letter warning food supplies could run short because of the disruptions.
They wrote: “As prudent businesses we are stockpiling where possible, but all frozen and chilled storage is already being used and there is very little general warehousing space available in the UK”
Ahead of the original Brexit deadline of March 29, Retailers increase stocks of dried goods including pasta, bottled water and toilet roll.
No threat there, but when it comes to fresh, quality food no-deal Brexit poses a threat.
Do you need to start stocking up?
So with perishable goods up in the bets for rationing, ensuring your plates are full in post Brexit Britain may be trickier than expected.
Shane Brennan, Chief Executive of the Food Storage and Distribution Federation told the Mirror: “In the worst case scenario, there may be food shortages in the first few days followed by months of food price inflation.”
The rise in cost of your favourites may be more crucial than the shortage of.
Labour’s analysis of Brexit figures found that household spending on food would increase by £220 a year making your access to quality goods that much harder.
However Mr Brennan stressed that people should not panic buy.
“Panic buying – people stocking up on more food than they need – is one of the things that could cause the biggest shortages day by day.
“There will be food…When people panic buy they create worse shortages.
So perhaps don’t overstock your freezer this Halloween, fun-sizes may not last all year. For the sting of No-deal is more likely to bite than the food shortages themselves.