Supermarkets ask suppliers to prepare for Brexit 'no deal'

The noise about Brexit is only on the increase as the ‘deadline’ approaches.  However, many of the issues discussed in the press are intangible to the proverbial ‘man in the street’.  

The threat that companies like Airbus the European aerospace corporation may have to relocate operations adds to the ever-growing yet still non-specific anxiety of Brexit. But, unless you are part of the 1500-strong workforce across the UK that work for Airbus, the impact is particularly hard to comprehend. 

Few fully understand the implication of taxes, duties and tariffs – especially given so many permutations of what may or may not happen. However, the impact to our food supply is something that most can relate to. The cost of our weekly shop is something that will probably hit home the hardest for most and with the recent escalation of the Brexit debate this has highlighted that the risk is all too real.

For some time now, behind the scenes retailers have been trying to establish the ‘real’ impact and this bubbled to the surface more recently with the news that Aldi had surveyed suppliers to understand which products could be affected.  With the prospect of ‘no deal’ looming the risk is no longer just the cost impact on products from the continent, but the fact that there may not even be a clear framework on how to supply these products – not just from Europe, but from anywhere that is based on an EU trade agreement… which is just about anywhere. For me this will highlight even more the need for retailers to engage with their supply base and work as ‘one team’ to be able to deliver on this.

Tags: Supplier engagement

James Butcher

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