Mondelez’s European president Hubert Weber told The Times that the UK is “not self-sufficient in terms of food ingredients” as he confirmed the stockpiling as part of contingency plans in case the UK and the European Union fail to reach a deal for the post-Brexit process.
UK not self-sufficient in terms of food ingredients
Fears had been growing in recent weeks that the two sides might not be able to agree on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal before the deadline next March.
The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier seemed to cool fears earlier this week though, when he said that a deal could be hammered out within two months.
Speaking to The Times, Mondelez Europe president Hubert Weber said: “Like the whole of the food and drink industry in the UK, we would prefer a good deal that allows the free flow of products as that would have less of an impact to the UK consumer.
“However, we are also preparing for a hard Brexit and, from a buffering perspective for Mondelez, we are stocking higher levels of ingredients and finished products, although you can only do so much because of the shelf life of our products. We have a continency plan in place to manage [a hard Brexit], as the UK is not self-sufficient in terms of food ingredients, so that could be a challenge.”
Other companies are also said to be making no-deal plans, including drugs giant AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN), which said European patients may not be able to receive their medication from the UK if the EU fails to “prepare well” for a hard Brexit scenario.