Posted: 04/10/2017

IGD unveils Brexit plan to support food businesses

IGDEducation and training charity IGD has launched a six-step plan to help food and grocery businesses take a proactive approach in their future as negotiations to leave the EU continue.

The Brexit Workout outlines how businesses can navigate themselves through potential outcomes or implications in the wider supply chain, from long delays, big swings in costs, and severe skills shortages to new barriers blocking suppliers or sales routes.

“In every aspect, existing UK and European grocery supply chains are the product of their evolution in the Single Market and its regulatory framework,” said chief economist James Walton.

“Even businesses that operate entirely within one country will have international connections somewhere along their chains that could be disrupted when the UK is no longer a member,” he added.

The charity said that remedial work to combat the effects of Brexit could extend to every element of supply chain activities, including produce specifications, sourcing decisions, stockholding policies, and manufacturing locations.

“The task will require teamwork through the chain and across the whole company,” said Walton. “For grocery companies, this could take several years to complete, which is a daunting prospect. It is a management marathon and like many long tasks, it is hard to know where to begin.”

The IGD Brexit Workout steps are as follows:

  1. Identify one product as your test case, probably a best-seller or signature item.
  2. Itemise the inputs needed to create the product and bring it to market; not just the ingredients and packaging but also machinery, energy, labour, administration etc.
  3. Consult with all stakeholders to understand the worst-case scenario for disruption from Brexit for the cost, quality and availability of these inputs – this includes partners from other businesses and the supply chain.
  4. Piece this together to get a picture of the overall Brexit risks for the produce.
  5. Consider the steps you could take to mitigate these risks.
  6. Consider how representative your test product is likely to be for others in your range.

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