Europe News

Cost of imported fruit and vegetables to rise 8 percent after Brexit: Rabobank

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The price of fruit, vegetables, flowers and olive oil could all rise by as much as 8 percent for U.K. householders when Britain leaves Europe, according to commodity analysts.

Rabobank's report, "Weighing up Future Food Security in the UK: The Impact of the Brexit on Food & Agribusiness in Europe and Beyond," said although details of British trade agreements are unknown, the cost of exports will undoubtedly increase.

Rabobank said the cost of checks on items arriving from the continent will rise as the U.K. is required to stiffen biosecurity and border regulations. "Administrative checks at the border alone may lead to an extra charge of 5 percent to eight percent.

"This is partly because Food & Agribusiness products are subject to veterinary and phytosanitary controls," it said.

According to Rabobank, the U.K. is only 60 percent self-sufficient in terms of food and is, therefore, a major net importer.

Bottles of Jameson Irish whiskey, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Absolut Vodka, and Olmeca tequila, all produced by Pernod Ricard SA.
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In the drinks market, British consumers are already feeling the pinch.

Pernod Ricard has confirmed that this month it raised the price of spirits in the U.K. as a response to a fall in the value of sterling.

The French firm unveiled company slides ahead of an analyst call Wednesday, which failed to detail the exact level of the rise but confirmed the price rise is in place.

"Brexit is leading to strong pound depreciation, with inflation expected higher as a reaction.

In that context, Pernod Ricard increased prices in March, the slides said.

An employee monitors foil-wrapped Cadbury Creme Eggs as they move along the production line at the Bournville Cadbury factory, operated by Mondelez International.
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U.S. food giant Mondelez has also refused to rule out either an increase in price or a reduction in product quantity when the full effect of Brexit is known.

"Like all food manufacturers, we sometimes have to make changes to ensure that people can continue to buy their favorite chocolate brands, at affordable prices whilst also making sure we look after our manufacturing footprint in the UK and the 4,000 people we employ here," the company said by email Monday.