Christmas food at risk as new Brexit rules leave businesses unprepared

Christmas food is under threat as many European business are unaware of or unprepared for new Brexit rules that are rolling out later this year.

From 31 October, the government’s Border Target Operating Model will impose additional controls on products coming from the EU, The Grocer reported.

Under the new post-Brexit import rules, consignments bringing in products such as meat, dairy and fish that are considered medium or high risk, will require vet-signed export health certificates and will be eligible for physical border checks early next year.

However, a survey by Cold Chain Federation found that 39% of EU food companies supplying goods to the UK are unaware of the change to rules and timeframes while 41% have no current plans in place to comply.

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This comes despite many of those surveyed trading in meat, dairy or fish.

CCF found that one in ten will limit the frequency and number of UK-based customers they supply to, with a further 7% planning to cease trading with the UK.

As a result, companies have warned that there could be delays or shortages of festive food staples, such as pigs in blankets, as well as eggs.

Consumers could also be hit with higher prices, as almost 80% of the businesses said costs to their UK customers could rise as a result of the Brexit rules, with CCF warning that these would be passed onto retailers.

Cold Chain Federation CEO, Shane Brennan, told the publication: “Communications from UK government to these businesses has not been good enough and it is the food retailers, hospitality businesses and consumers here in the UK who will pay the price with disruption, delays, and losses.”



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