Brexit preparedness at food and drinks firms jumps to 93% while levels of stockholding double to 70%, research showed.
86% of respondents are clear that Brexit will have an impact on their business but 68% are still uncertain about what that impact will be, according to the recently published Bord Bia Brexit Barometer 2019: Results & Actions.
Considering the fact that the UK accounted for 37% (+2%) of all Irish food and drink exports last year, amounting to trade worth €4.5 billion, over half (52%) of respondents are holding up to three weeks of stock outside of Ireland, Bord Bia said.
However, the Irish state agency, highlighted that in the lead up to the October Brexit deadline, stockholding will become far more complex due to storage in some cases, being at full capacity in preparation for busy Christmas trading.
“It has been said that there are no net upsides to Brexit for Ireland,” Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia, said.
It is a challenging political and economic scenario that puts pressure on the close tie with our nearest neighbour and our largest trading partner.
Bord Bia’s 2019 Brexit Barometer is the third in a series of annual studies that provide a comprehensive measure of Brexit readiness across Ireland’s food and drink sector with findings from 130 companies.
“My Department, working with Bord Bia, has dedicated considerable resources to ensuring that the unique position of the Irish food and drink industry in all Brexit scenarios is firmly understood,” Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D, said.
Irish food and drink firms are now highly engaged with their customers on Brexit planning. 79% have spoken to their customers about Brexit in the past month, rising to 96% in the past three months, while many large food and drink firms cite daily conversations with key buyers.
“The coming months will bring another Brexit deadline, but it is encouraging to see that our industry is doing all it can to prioritise what it can control in facing these challenges.” Minister Creed added.
The number of companies expressing high or slight confidence in managing customs compliance in the 2019 Brexit Barometer has increased four-fold to 83%, up from 28% last year.
The research indicated that Food and drink firms are taking many of the practical steps required to be customs ready, evidenced by the 85% of respondents who have applied to the Irish Revenue Commissioners for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number, which is required to move goods into or out of the EU.
According to the research, 74% of those surveyed are actively seeking to expand into new markets in response to Brexit.
57% of respondents have reported encouraging growth outside of the UK and ROI markets and a further 24% are reporting stable sales in these markets.
Two thirds of companies have a marketing strategy for non-UK export markets to assist them unlock growth potential.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.