Prestige Purchasing predicts Brexit food & drink price increases

Leading hospitality and foodservice operators who attended a Breakfast Briefing hosted by Prestige Purchasing, heard that food and drink prices are predicted to rise in the event of a Leave victory in the June 23rd Referendum.

Speaking at the event, David Read, CEO of Prestige Purchasing, explained, “Both the long-term and the wider impacts of Brexit could well be more benign, but in the first 2-3 years the combined effects of weakened sterling, import tariffs, and rising labour and energy costs is likely to push up the price of food and drink, possibly significantly.”

“It’s important to understand the heavy reliance we have on imported product in the UK, as we run a £21bn trade gap in food alone. We produce only around 60% of our food, and 27% of it is imported from the EU. As recently as last year sterling appreciated against the euro by 9%, which impacted the UK’s total food basket positively by over 2%.”

Citing a recent report from Defra that forecast imported food prices rising by 11%, Read went on to say, “The scale of price increases are difficult to predict, particularly as global food prices remain generally quite soft currently, but the potential range of increases is wide. Smart caterers will be clear about contingency plans in advance of the vote”

The Breakfast Briefing went on to explore the arguments for and against Brexit in detail, supported by a thoughtful and balanced presentation on the potential impacts on the UK economy from Alan Clarke, Head of European Strategy at Scotiabank.

Nick Nathan, Operations Director of Crussh, summed up many delegate’s view of the event when he said, “It was a relief to attend an event on this subject that gave a balanced summary of the arguments as they impact our sector based upon the facts, rather than political rhetoric.”