Brexit Update: The impacts of a no-deal on fresh produce

by | Dec 15, 2020

As the UK nears the end of the transition period with the EU, a no-deal scenario appears imminent. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, availability and pricing for fresh produce is likely to be significantly impacted.

Did you know that the EU provides nearly 40% of our fruit imports and almost 80% of vegetable imports? If a no-deal occurs, there will be import challenges caused by:

  • Customs delays and disruption to the haulage industry
  • Weakening of the Pound
  • Non-tariff barriers such as legislation and additional administration
  • Financial tariffs

Fortunately, many of the suppliers we work with have plans in place to help minimise disruption and higher prices. Our team has been communicating with suppliers across the UK and they are assuring us that they’re ready regardless of whether there is a deal or no-deal. Measures that have been put in place by suppliers include:

  • Additional storage space to increase stock levels.
  • Support of more British producers.
  • Alternate transport links.
  • Establish relationships with new suppliers, both within and outside of the EU including, where possible, in the UK.
  • Contracts with multiple suppliers to spread risk.
  • Fixed contracts with suppliers to provide some security to customers should the value of the pound fall pound fall during the winter period.
  • Additional staff training and recruitment of procurement team members based in the EU.
  • Ability to negate tariffs by buying from the UK, or from countries where the UK has a preferential trade deal, although seasonality and economies of scale dictate limited options.


  • Ensure that menu descriptions allow for some flexibility where possible and keep menu changes to a minimum around the end of December.
  • Communicate with your Enhance team about specific needs or potential issues in advance of 31st December.
  • Don’t stockpile, as this will affect forecasting and lead to more wastage.
  • Consider additional Enhance services such as gross margin improvement and fresh produce management to help your business save time, resources and money.

Our team of procurement experts is here to assist with all your purchasing needs. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business post-Brexit.