My feed

to access all these features


AIBU to be worried about what the Director of the Food and Drink Federation said on the radio this morning?

220 replies

borntobequiet · 26/09/2018 09:11

I get up early and like to listen to Farming Today on the radio (really interesting and informative about far more than just farming technicalities). This morning they interviewed Ian Wright, the director mentioned above. He was definite that leaving the EU without a deal would be devastating for both imports and exports. It would result in total logjams at ports, with just in time deliveries held up for considerable periods of time, and would impact very seriously on food availability in shops. This is all based on the government's own technical notices published recently. Here's a link to the programme (hope it works as they had an error message up earlier):
And here is a link to the Food and Drink Federation's statement on their website:
What worries me most is that this doesn't seem to be properly reported on mainstream BBC programmes or in much of the print and broadcast media.

OP posts:
Whereisthecoffee · 26/09/2018 09:13

Yanbu this worries me too.

bridgetreilly · 26/09/2018 09:16

I'm sure it will be a mess in the short term. In the longer term, I am basically in favour of anything that encourages people to buy food that has not travelled as far.

ohreallyohreallyoh · 26/09/2018 09:17

It is frightening, I agree. Some stockpiling of tinned and dried goods you can make simple meals from is in order. I will also be filling my freezer and hoping for the best. It will sort itself out but in the early days is potentially problematic.

CardinalSin · 26/09/2018 09:17

YANBU. Even more worrying is the Quitlings dismissing it as "project fear" or just sticking their heads in the sand.

I hope they'll all be starving themselves and handing out their food to others, as, you know, they all knew exactly what they were voting for...

SusanWalker · 26/09/2018 09:21

The trouble is that we are unable to produce enough food for all of us so things need to be imported. At the moment we import a lot from our nearest neighbours. One of the things that worries me so much about brexit is Liam Fox's desire to import more of our food from the US, India and Australia as this is going to increase food miles a lot.

I agree that we should try to produce more food at home but I don't think that's what the government have in mind. They want to reduce tariffs on food coming in, which is likely to put small farmers out of business, leading to us importing even more food.

borntobequiet · 26/09/2018 09:23

I too am in favour of encouraging people to buy food with fewer food miles! However I know that the EU is our near neighbour and other countries that we are supposed to negotiate these new free trade deals with are much further away - the USA, Australia and NZ, China, Japan and so on. So not much benefit there.
We only produce between approx 50% and 60% of the food we consume (depends on the measure used) and are unlikely to be able to better that by much.

OP posts:
AssCheeksATremble · 26/09/2018 09:26

I don't want to say too much as I will out myself, but my DH is very closely connected to imports:exports and he is unbelievably cheerful about the whole Brexit thing.

As a PP said, there will be short term supply chain issues (think 3 weeks) and then everything will settle down.

I bloody hate Brexit and I wish it had never happened.

5Yearplan4000 · 26/09/2018 09:27

It’s part of project fear and total nonsense.

Figural · 26/09/2018 09:34

This worries me too, and is why I've been stockpiling stuff for six months now. Most of the food is what I use anyway, with some stuff substituted, like dried apple instead in case fresh aren't available (might be seasonal-only - cooking apples), extra dried egg (used for baking as well as being o.k. scrambled), dried milk

The other day I checked the use-by date on a packet of Shredded Wheat just delivered in case it was worth stocking those. The date was February 2019 so no point in stocking those, yet at least.

I'm hopeful for meat; I buy organic meat from a butcher in Yorkshire who deals only with organic farms.

There are a few things I need to support disabilities which aren't made in this country, they're manufactured by a Swedish company in The Netherlands. Failure to have those available absolutely terrifies me. A long delivery I can cope with as long as I know in good time. The company is Essity, one the NHS uses extensively. When I contacted them they told me they have two offices in the UK, for commercial contact, but no manufacturing facility here.

Quietrebel · 26/09/2018 09:36

It’s part of project fear and total nonsense

Propaganda & sound bites. Very helpful. Hope that sustains you when the proverbial hits the fan.

BangingOn · 26/09/2018 09:39

I work for a food company and there are a lot of plans behind the scenes, but things may well be grim in the short term. I don’t think there’s any need to panic, but a well store cupboard and freezer won’t hurt (and aren’t a bad idea to have during the winter anyway, if you can afford it).

AjasLipstick · 26/09/2018 09:40

On the bright side, if the UK does get food from Australia, you can be confident that it's generally very, very good quality. I live here now and the food here is excellent.

5Yearplan4000 · 26/09/2018 09:45

Agree . Visited relatives there . The food is amazing, fresh fruit and veg is mostly grown close the cities where it’s sold and the meat is to die for. So much better quality than in the UK. When we came back here we were appalled by how shit the meat in the supermarkets seemed in the Uk. On the other hand the Uk leads the world in ready meals.

RandomObject · 26/09/2018 09:49

Yes because quality fresh fruit and veg sold close to where it's grown in Australia is totally relevant to us eating it over here a 20 hour flight away...

borntobequiet · 26/09/2018 09:50

5Year - love the way that "Project Fear" is being coordinated by our own Government in cahoots with the Food and Drink Federation!
Oh, and the car industry, banks and the CBI as well...

OP posts:
lonelyplanetmum · 26/09/2018 09:52

It’s part of project fear and total nonsense

Ian Wright is a trade industry specialist with decades of experience.He is Chief Exec of the food and drink federation which represents the whole U.K. industry. His career has encompassed senior roles with Diageo, Boots and Mars confectionary.He was awarded the CBE.

He wrote to the govt desperate for an urgent meeting with leaders from across the food industry to address concerns.

Why can’t we listen to what he says rather than people like Gove who diss expertise and experience? In any event the government have validated his concerns in the technical papers too.

mumsastudent · 26/09/2018 09:53

trouble is that we have not been able to produce the amount variety & type of food we need its the size of population, area farmed, & our climate - think rationing both ww1 &2 & - also the other major issue is the hold up of essential drugs (insulin for one & yes I know there is 1 very small company that produces animal insulin - but most diabetes don't use that type & even if they did it wouldn't be enough) many of our drugs are imported & whenever there is a glitch there has been problems in the past.

EarlyModernParent · 26/09/2018 09:55

Not Project Fear at all. The ports and lots of relevant trade bodies are planning and consulting like mad. The problem is that decision-making in national govt is frozen because of the rifts in the Tories. Lots of sensible measures could have been put in place ages ago if only someone would sign off on them.

toomuchtooold · 26/09/2018 09:56

I am basically in favour of anything that encourages people to buy food that has not travelled as far

Me too, but as others have said, the UK isn't self sufficient in terms of food and as I understand it would struggle to be. Also when you think about something like tomatoes: the tomato season in the UK is July-September, outside of that it's either imports or heated greenhouses, and I read that in the Riverford organic box scheme they use imported tomatoes outside the season because the CO2 emissions from heating a greenhouse are higher than that of the lorry to bring them from Spain. So there's all that sort of thing, unless you're happy only to eat salad vegetables fresh for about 3 months of the year.

RoseAndRose · 26/09/2018 09:57

This sort of vulnerability is inherent in any 'just in time' supply chain.

They have been popular because they are cheaper (less need for warehouses) but reduce security of supply considerably. There may have e a e wayfrom that model across the board.

Snowymountainsalways · 26/09/2018 09:57

I am not in the least bit worried, but stockpile away if you want to!

lonelyplanetmum · 26/09/2018 09:58

From the trade industry specialist link mentioned above:

24 September 2018

FDF has issued the following press notice:
Ian Wright CBE, FDF Chief Executive said:
“Today's Technical Notices lay bare the grisly prospect of a 'no-deal' Brexit. We face chaos at the ports, serious disruption to food supplies, increasing business costs, rising consumer prices and ever more administrative burdens on the food and drink industry."

“The Technical Notices show that a 'no-deal' Brexit will have a severe impact on UK food and drink supplies and trade from March 2019. Upon leaving the EU, UK exports would face the EU's prohibitively high WTO Most Favoured Nation tariffs, which would make many products uncompetitive and threaten the success of more than £13bn of our industry's annual exports."


Don’t want to miss threads like this?


Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

Talkstotrees · 26/09/2018 09:58

I'm sure it will be a mess in the short term. In the longer term, I am basically in favour of anything that encourages people to buy food that has not travelled as far.

Might there be better ways of encouraging people?

OP - YADNBU. It’s a shitfest.

Missingstreetlife · 26/09/2018 09:59

I'm more worried we'll be getting a load of processed crap from USA, low welfare bleached chicken, irradiated and gm veg. Think an allotment is a good ideabh

Quietrebel · 26/09/2018 10:01

Australia is closing an FTA with the EU who banned the import of hormone reared beef as part of the agreement.
Guess where Aus will export its premium product?... Now guess what will end up on our plates?

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.