RESEARCH | Staff Reporter, UK

Nine out of ten Irish food and drink firms prepared for Brexit: study

8 out of 10 Irish companies say they plan to maintain or grow sales in the UK.

Irish food and drink firms’ preparedness for Brexit has jumped to 93%, up from 74% from the previous year, according to Bord Bia’s 2019 Brexit Barometer published by Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.

Despite the impending deadline, the research also revealed 57% of respondents reported an increase in sales to the UK and a further 29% reported stable revenues, with 8 out of 10 Irish companies planning to maintain or grow sales in the UK over the coming year.

However, the report also said that Irish firms are becoming increasingly concerned by the cost implications of customs compliance and stockholding, potential challenges around logistics and, consequently, many have halted investment plans, citing “continued uncertainty of the evolving Brexit landscape.”

“Amidst the continuing uncertainty around Brexit, this report highlights the true value of preparedness. The coming months will bring another Brexit deadline, but it is encouraging to see that our industry is doing all it can to prioritise what it can control in facing these challenges,” Mr. Creed said.

“We have witnessed transformative levels of engagement due to two interlinked factors: firstly, the expectation for much of 2018 that a negotiated agreement was finally in sight and, secondly, the return to prominence of a ‘cliff edge’ no deal Brexit which remains a looming threat,” Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy added. “This experience left Irish exporters in no doubt that their future trading relationship with UK customers should be managed as a priority.”

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