The Government ads have been impossible to miss on TV. “If you have a business and you haven’t taken the steps to prepare for Brexit, time is running out!”

Unfortunately, the Government have not taken its own advice, in particular when it comes to our meat industry.

As it stands today, it is just as easy for a Scottish Black Angus producer to ship beef to Italy as it is to Birmingham.  From quality standards to the size of pallets, all is the same throughout the EU.

Come New Year’s Day, however this will all change as UK meat to the highly important EU market suddenly becomes an export item.  Are vets in place to inspect this meat?  Are the new labels and seals ready to be stamped on each side of beef?  Has the Northern Ireland/Irish border been sorted?

While some excuse the Government’s lack of preparation due to the pandemic, the situation we will be soon facing started well before any of us knew our Covids from our Coronas.

Our Approach

Whilst we do not yet know the outcome of trade negotiations with the EU and the rest of the world, we have been proactive and agile in our approach ahead of 31 December 2020.  We have worked with Government and Industry Bodies, UK and EU customs, and our vast range of suppliers, basing our plans on reasonable worst-case assumptions about potential delays to imports.

Our Trading and Purchasing team are exceptionally experienced with the challenges of international trade.  We have put in place robust plans and preparations to ensure continued availability of supply for our customers, whether or not the UK leaves without a deal on 31 December 2020.

But what if there is a deal?

Some things will still change irrespective of the UK and EU negotiators agreeing a deal, which will have implications for supply chain.

New immigration rules will still apply, as well as veterinary checks, new procedures, certification and other paperwork for import and export of produce, poultry and meats.  It is anticipated there could be a shortage of vets, resulting in some delays for these categories, and there may well be some currency fluctuations to take into account too.

Whatever the outcome of current negotiations, we will all need to prepare for changes at the end of the transition period.

Our plans

We have undertaken a thorough assessment of the availability risk across our comprehensive range, and the potential impact of the UK’s new standard tariffs which would apply where no trade deals have been agreed.  For those products that we have identified a potential risk, we have put in place mitigation plans, for example building contingency stocks, identifying alternatives or more efficient routes to market.

As the leading wholesaler in the UK, DB Foods have continued its investment in our production and distribution facilities across the UK and Europe, to ensure we remain at the forefront of the industry.  We are committed to supporting our customers, supplying everything our customers need with our huge range, quality of goods and reliability of service.

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