Brexit: food firms need integrated supply chains

By James Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

A more integrated supply chain is needed post Brexit, argues Tsinopoulos
A more integrated supply chain is needed post Brexit, argues Tsinopoulos

Related tags: Supply chains, United kingdom

An integrated supply chain that standardises legislation, systems, policies, and engineering methods is needed post-Brexit, according to a leading university academic.

Dr Christos Tsinopoulos, senior lecturer in operations and project management at Durham University Business School, called for a closely integrated supply chain, where ideas and information are easily exchanged.

The comment came as the Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) announced its focus on maintaining free movement of vehicles across Ireland’s border with the UK.

Tsinopoulos also said that the EU had helped build highly integrated and efficient supply chains that had benefited businesses.

He warned, however, that while the supply chain would not change in the short term, there is a risk that in the medium to long term, “switching between supply chains and countries may become an increasingly popular choice”​.

Supply chains remain intact

With Ireland the only EU Member State that shares a land border with the UK, FTAI general manager Neil McDonnell hoped to see the supply chains between the two countries remain intact following the end of the UK’s EU membership.

“The UK is Ireland’s largest mutual trading partner and FTAI will do all it can to support this objective,”​ said McDonnell.

“Nothing will change immediately, despite the current market turmoil, and we will be working hard in the coming months to make the transition as smooth as possible for our members.”

“It now falls to the Irish government to ensure that Ireland maintains the free movement, commercial, legal and social arrangements with Northern Ireland and Great Britain that it has enjoyed since 1922.”

Mixed response

The UK food and drink sector has given a mixed response, so far, to voters’ decision to quit the EU.

Greencore ceo Patrick Coveney tweeted: “Incredibly disappointing but that’s democracy – need calm heads now to steer Britain & EU through very tricky waters​.”

Paul Wilkinson, chair of the National Skills Academy and former chair of Rank Hovis McDougall and Thorntons, said Brexit would bring new opportunities for UK food and drink manufacturers.

Related topics: Supply Chain

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1 comment

"Opportunities" or challenges

Posted by Bernard,

Would be interesting to know if Mr. Wilkinson meant opportunities in the truest sense of the word - challenges certainly. To that end, both commentators could be agreeing, not mixed.

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