The doomsayers are claiming the UK will grind to a standstill whilst the optimists are saying it will be smooth sailing and business as usual. The reality is that it’s likely to be somewhere in between. But however it goes, there will be challenges to tackle for everyone involved in foodservice.
In the short term at least, it’s prudent to expect increased food costs. The devalued pound makes UK fresh products more attractive to overseas buyers and of course it’s more expensive to buy from abroad. Tougher border controls are likely, and these could mean longer waiting times at ports, which could affect shelf life of fresh products.
Whether or not all the risks associated with Brexit will ultimately materialise, and to what extent, will depend on the outcome of future negotiations; however, we’re working closely with one of the big four consultancy firms and have assembled an in-house team spanning multiple disciplines – Legal, Procurement, Client Services and HR. We’ve developed a range of measures to mitigate risks in a working strategy and have well-established projects spanning two key stages: 1) diagnostics and 2) reactive work.
The diagnostics work has highlighted key sourcing and supply chain areas we need to focus on, alongside supplier readiness and the impact of possible port delays, enabling us to work with our key supply chain partners on contingency planning.
Our reactive work looks at how we respond to the evolving Brexit situation. We are looking at, for example, the cost impact of a no-deal scenario, how (in a no-deal scenario) we might amend our sourcing decisions to reduce impacts and hold a sensible amount of contingency stock. Our No Deal Brexit Plan includes a proposed approach, timings, recommendations and trigger points for engaging suppliers and for deploying supply chain solutions.
Every day our team of 200 procurement professionals are driving us forward and we’re committed to delivering procurement excellence, whatever the external pressures.
Whether it’s negotiating deals with suppliers, or maximising value for our clients, we’ll deliver commercial savings against any brief and in the most challenging economic times.
Connect with Charlie Hudson via LinkedIn to talk through your procurement challenges.