Bord Bia published its latest Brexit report on Tuesday, entitled ‘Food and Drink Supply Chain Logistics: Strategies for Success’, focusing on the potential impact of Brexit on supply chains and logistics.
The report finds that potential disruption to frictionless trade via the Ireland-UK ‘land bridge’ due to tariffs and customs checks is an issue of serious concern to the Agri-Food industry. Also of concern to businesses is the potential increase in lead times, which would have serious implications for short shelf-life products.
The report recommends that businesses develop contingency plans and investigate warehousing and alternative supply routes to mitigate against these adverse effects. Businesses should also audit or assess the preparations of their supply chain partners, assess their supply chain footprints (including for example how to get their products into the UK post-Brexit) and engage with supply chain partners to understand each other’s Brexit readiness.
Today’s report follows the publication of Bord Bia’s Brexit Barometer in June, which found that although firms were confident of increasing sales to the UK after Brexit, many are reliant on low-cost supply chains and would be impacted by increased lead times. This survey found that 64% of Bord Bia clients’ commercial models are sensitive to increased lead times which could result in serious financial implications and damage customer relationships.
Speaking in response to the publication of today’s report, Maree Gallagher, food lawyer at Covington & Burling and Chair of the Chamber’s Agri-Food Committee said;
“The British Irish Chamber of Commerce welcomes the publication of this important report from Bord Bia. During the course of negotiations, it is essential that every effort is made to ensure that trade between our two islands continues unhindered in a post-Brexit world.
“However, given the uncertainty that currently exists, it is prudent for businesses to prepare for serious disruption to their supply chains and to make contingency plans for a worst case scenario. In the activation of these plans, businesses should ensure that any supply chain modifications are accurately reflected in contractual arrangements, that traceability and food safety is not compromised and that adequate insurance is in place to cover any necessary changes or contingencies.”
The full report is available to read at the following link here.