Survey: what does Brexit hold for UK food and drink?

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

How confident do you feel about the future of your business?
How confident do you feel about the future of your business?

Related tags Food manufacture group European union Eu

The confidence of UK food and drink manufacture is under the spotlight in this year’s Food Manufacture Group state-of-the-industry survey.

As Brexit approaches, and with a general election just weeks away, the findings are likely to prove even more interesting than the results of surveys carried out in previous years.

The state-of-the-industry survey, which takes just a few minutes to complete, is available here​. It seeks to collect the views of those working in the sector about a variety of issues, ranging from: perceptions about current market conditions; to trading relationships with retailers and others; and investment in new product development.

It will also attempt to identify whether environmental activities and waste reduction are still high on companies’ agendas, and ascertain whether manufacturers have enough confidence about the future to invest in capital equipment and employ more staff.

As an incentive to fill out the survey, all named entries will be entered into a prize draw with the chance of winning £100 of Amazon vouchers.

Brexit: threat or opportunity?

With Brexit potentially just a couple of years’ away, we want to gather people’s views about whether they see this more as a threat or an opportunity. And with the political debate between political parties on this most contentious of issues hotting up, the results of the election on June 8 are likely to determine whether we will face a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit.

As a consequence, we ask respondents whether they expect the divorce from the EU to provide a boost to their businesses or harm them.

Linked with this separation, is the question of future access to non-UK EU staff – something that many in the sector consider crucial in keeping food and drink production lines in our factories running. We ask whether restrictions on EU workers after Brexit would damage respondents’ businesses.

Another big debate between political parties is about future access to the EU Single market. Questions are being raised about whether the UK will in the future benefit from levy-free access to 510M EU consumers or face swingeing World Trade Organisation tariffs.

Support for exports

And, if exports of food and drink to the EU are hit following Brexit, then opening up new global markets will become even more important. So, we ask respondents whether they expect the next UK government to provide more practical and financial support for food and drink exports.

The survey is being run over the next month and when closed, the results will be analysed and the findings published in the July issue of Food Manufacture​ and on No mention will be made of either the individuals or their companies in the published results, which will be completely anonymous.

I would urge you to participate in Food Manufacture Group’s annual state-of-the-industry survey, whose findings this year look set to prove particularly telling – especially given the huge political and economic change in prospect.

Food Manufacture group’s State-of-the-industry survey​.

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Posted by Mark Curry,

I believe Brexit to be a negative step the UK Food Manufacturing industry. For the following reasons; increased EU raw material costs causing business risk and failure , uncertainty to those resident in the UK and possible shortage of skilled EU workforce in the future.

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stuart ridpath

Posted by stuart ridpath,

my feeling is we trade with the rest of the world instead of the eu ,bigger market eg usa,Australia,china india ,Canada.

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