Meals warehouses ‘nearly full’ forward of Brexit

Food warehouses 'almost full' ahead of Brexit

Food shelvesPicture copyright
Jack Taylor

Corporations in search of someplace to retailer additional provides of recent meals within the run-up to Brexit in March could also be too late, the chief government of the food and drinks federation has informed MPs.

Ian Wright mentioned that warehouses across the UK for frozen and chilled meals are “for all sensible functions booked out in the meanwhile”.

House for different items is obtainable however within the flawed locations, he added.

He mentioned some suppliers have been being “modern” to offer additional area.

Chatting with the Enterprise, Power and Industrial Technique Committee, Mr Wright mentioned that there was no bookable area remaining within the warehouses that may retailer frozen or chilled produce within the close to future.

“We do not know if there are merchandise in these locations or individuals have booked the area to watch out or for manufacturing,” he mentioned.

“Some modern suppliers are doing the Airbnb of warehousing which could be very attention-grabbing, however for giant and medium-sized companies, that simply will not work.”

Mr Wright mentioned there was nonetheless availability for ambient items – meals that may be safely saved at room temperature in a sealed container – however not essentially the place it will be wanted on firms’ provide journeys.

“These warehouses aren’t near the proper infrastructure or provide chains. The difficulty is geographical in addition to conceptual and is why the intersection round Rugby is such an unlimited development space.”

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Media captionOperations supervisor Jake Rattenbury took the BBC behind the scenes at a Cardiff warehouse the place meals is being stockpiled

Mr Wright added that he was in favour of the Draft Withdrawal Settlement negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa Could as a result of it was preferable to leaving the European Union and not using a deal.

“The political declaration is great, however it’s a record of latest 12 months’s resolutions,” he mentioned. “We do not know if what we see now will stay intact.

“We like what we’ve now. No deal is infinitely worse than something we might think about, subsequently the deal on the desk is healthier than no deal, however is inferior to the established order,” he mentioned.


Mr Wright was showing earlier than the committee with Dan Mobley, company relations director of spirits producer Diageo, and Ian Rayson, director of company communications at food and drinks firm Nestle.

Mr Rayson mentioned his firm was shopping for provides prematurely. “We’re stockbuilding some merchandise to convey into the UK and stockbuilding in Europe merchandise that we’d ship on the market,” he mentioned.

Mr Mobley mentioned that his firm would wait to see how the UK was going to go away the EU earlier than making selections on inventory.

“If we’re going to face a chaotic Brexit, that can pose issues for us and we’ll work out market by market if we have to enhance shipments,” he mentioned.

“We have put in place planning so we are able to handle a no-deal with none disruption to prospects.

“We don’t provide perishable gadgets however slow-moving client items and we’re additionally lucky that just about every part we manufacture within the UK is shipped out of Grangemouth and never out of Dover.”

He added that his firm’s important fear round Brexit was across the labour market and never the availability chain.

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