- Domino’s Pizza has spent £7 million stockpiling toppings and tomato sauce to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.
- The company is preparing for possible disruption food supplies or food prices rising sharply.
- Boris Johnson’s government is committed to leaving the EU on October 31 with or without a deal.
- ‘A potential no-deal Brexit carries the increased risk of disruption to raw material supplies into the UK and foreign exchange volatility which could increase food costs,’ said the pizza giant.
- The UK’s food supply would face ‘unprecedented’ levels of disruption in the aftermath of a no-deal Brexit, a food policy academic warned yesterday.
Domino’s Pizza has spent £7 million stockpiling ingredients including tomato sauce and toppings in case a no-deal Brexit disrupts food supplies and makes ingredients more expensive.
The pizza giant, originally a US firm, said on Tuesday the risks relating to “interruption of raw material supplies” had increased since the original Brexit deadline in March, adding: “A potential ‘no deal’ Brexit carries the increased risk of disruption to raw material supplies into the UK and foreign exchange volatility which could increase food costs.”
Boris Johnson’s government has repeatedly said the United Kingdom will leave the European Union in the autumn with or without a withdrawal deal.
Reports today suggested the new prime minister would even ignore a vote by parliament to collapse his government in order to push through a no-deal exit by October 31, the scheduled exit date, before calling a general election.
Domino’s buys flour and cheese in the UK, meaning the supply of those materials would not be disrupted in a no-deal outcome.
However, a no-deal Brexit would disrupt the movement of ingredients it imports from the EU. The firm has stockpiled tomato sauce it gets from Portugal, as well as frozen chicken and other long-life products such as tuna and pineapple, the Guardian reported.
The Food & Drink Federation has warned that certain foods would quickly run out if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on October 31.
“A no-deal exit from the EU would be disastrous for the UK’s food and drink industry,” the organisation told Business Insider last month.
“Within weeks it is likely that shoppers would notice significant and adverse changes to the products available and random, selective shortages. Limited shelf life products would face the most immediate risk.”
The UK’s food supply would face “unprecedented” levels of disruption in the aftermath of a no-deal Brexit, food policy academic Tim Lang warned on Monday, adding that the UK would face an acute shortage of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Writing in The Lancet, a medical journal, Lang said the UK faced food shortages which would hit poorer households the hardest and accused Johnson’s government of being secretive about the true extent of the problem in order to prevent consumers from panic-buying.
He claimed the public had been kept “largely in the dark” about the government’s view on the gravity of the situation and said the government should arrange a full-scale public information campaign about the issue.
“Low-income groups in the UK would disproportionately be affected by the impacts of a no-deal Brexit on food prices and availability,” he wrote.
“The main food bank organisers have informed the UK government that their local groups do not have enough food, volunteer support, and storage capacity to deal with any uplift of need.
“At what point will the public be engaged and informed to help prepare for a no-deal Brexit? And is public health at the heart of planning?”
His warning echoed that of Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who told the BBC: “The challenge is, particularly in food, it’s perishable, so you can’t stockpile today for demand in November.”
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