Brexit Debate

2 Sisters’ boss Ranjit Boparan warns against Brexit

By Rick Pendrous contact

- Last updated on GMT

Boparan warns a Brexit would ‘decimate’ the British food industry
Boparan warns a Brexit would ‘decimate’ the British food industry

Related tags: European union, United kingdom

2 Sisters Food Group founder Ranjit Singh Boparan has claimed a vote to leave the EU – Brexit – could spell disaster for the UK food industry.

Boparan, the boss of the UK’s largest food manufacturer, has launched a rallying call for the UK to vote to remain in the EU.

‘Decimate the British food industry’

“A vote to the leave the EU has the potential to decimate the British food industry,” ​warned Boparan.

It’s already a tough environment; highly labour intensive, high volume, producing very low cost products for low margins, and operating in a deflationary market.

“The additional challenges Brexit could create for my industry will put many businesses at risk and I don’t think that’s a risk worth taking.”

2 Sisters employs 23,000 at 45 sites in the UK, Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands and Poland, supplying a third of all poultry consumed in the UK, and owns brands like Fox’s Biscuits and Goodfella’s Pizza.

In an editorial published this week in our sister title, The Grocer​, Boparan argued that the UK should remain in the EU because a Brexit would create too much uncertainty.

This he claimed would then lead to reduced consumer spending, higher interest rates and potentially higher cost of goods, all of which could damage the British food industry. Boparan noted that the pound had already fallen in value on exchange markets at the prospect of Brexit.

Food industry relies on EU workers

The British food industry relies on European workers, he added, in further support of EU membership. Food and drink is one of the UK’s biggest employers, he argued, and it provides jobs for 3M workers – a third from EU Member States, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Boparan went on to argue that British farmers and other food producers relied on the single market. It gave them access to 500M customers, allowing goods and services to be sold on an unrestricted basis. Leaving the EU, but remaining in the single market, would see the UK following the rules set by the EU, but with no say over them, he argued.

He added that the increased ingredients and packaging costs brought about by a Brexit would threaten the viability of food businesses.

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Posted by john,

23000 employees.....i would suggest that 19000 are from EU. Very little product exported tell me how Brexit REALLY effects your business ?

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Posted by Mr John Thomas,

The points being made about the food industry being labour intensive is partly due to the lack of investment in new technology. Labour was so cheap and remember back to when eastern block workers were being exploited. Every food manufacturer was guilty and greedy for profit. Send them all back and force British workers to take the jobs or loose there benefit and invest in the UK not the EU.
2 Sisters needs to focus on paying there workers the living wage without clawing it back in lost overtime etc.
The big picture shows we are better out.

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Posted by Charles Morgan,

The present P.M. is coming to the end of his second term of office. His rivals are getting ready to replace him in a bitterly divided party. The right of the British political Establishment has never been pro-European or preoccupied with the future of the British food industry; their leaders care more for their political careers than the future of the sector which employs many ordinary people thorough out the country.

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