Grocers facing ‘significant resource challenges’ from Brexit

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Over half of grocery bosses believe Brexit has landed them with more red tape and expenses, according to a new poll.

Reflecting the knife-edge result of the 2016 referendum, most respondents were split fairly evenly on the questions from Lumina Intelligence.

However, almost two-thirds of business leaders said import and export costs had risen after the UK cut its ties at the end of last year. 

A further 56 per cent claimed they were spending more time on paperwork to get past border checks.

READ MORE: Supermarkets pass Brexit burden onto suppliers

Last month, Marks and Spencer chairman Archie Norman revealed the supermarket employed 14 vets full-time to certify exports to the Republic of Ireland.

Roughly 53 per cent of respondents said that Brexit had produced a “more unreliable supply chain”.

A number of trade organisations blame it for the country’s shortfall of delivery drivers.

The Road Haulage Association has told ministers to introduce a European visa to entice hauliers from overseas, in a bid to avoid food shortages.

On the other hand, under half of those surveyed said that Brexit had slowed down the supply chain.

A mere 38 per cent said it had caused staff shortages, while just a third claimed it had caused prices to fluctuate.

“Brexit, coupled with […] the pandemic, has resulted in significant resource challenges for businesses across the UK food and drink industry,” Lumina insight manager Katie Prowse claimed.

She called on ministers to play “a leading role” in helping grocers with their post-Brexit struggles.

Businesses are bracing themselves for further disruption when the Northern Ireland Protocol, which prevents checks on goods entering and leaving the country, ends on September 30.

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