EU-UK transition – what next for the food and consumer goods industry?

Date : 09 February 2021

It’s been a fascinating time to be liaising with industry and government on EU Exit (Brexit) issues and providing insight to help businesses prepare for a new relationship with Europe and other trading partners.

Our series of free webinars on EU Exit have proved very popular. In our next webinar EU-UK transition-latest moves, we will look at all the key issues.


The trade deal in practice – how is it working?

In our recent Economics bulletin, we reported that freight volumes are reported to be increasing with many sea routes approaching levels typical for this time of year, including the short straits. However, it is not clear that this indicates a substantial increase in export volumes as some hauliers are reportedly returning to Europe with empty trailers to avoid delays.

There are a number of issues that are impacting the trade deal including:

  • Groupage
  • Export Health Certificates
  • Rules of Origin
  • The Northern Ireland Protocol

We will look at these issues in more detail and determine how this impacts the food and consumer goods industry.

What’s next – planned changes to importing

Much of the commentary in the news has been about the disruption to exports. However, businesses trading with the EU should be prepared for the introduction of further border controls for imports for the following key dates:

  • 1 April – Products of animal origin and all regulated plants and plant products will require pre-notification and health documentation to be imported into the UK. There may also by physical checks, conducted at the final destination.
  • 1 July – Products of animal origin and all regulated plants and plant products will be subject to physical checks at Border Control Posts in the UK. The regime of border checks will become more rigorous.

Complete customs declarations for imports to the UK will be required. Importers may no longer defer making declarations.

The UK government has issued guidance specifically for food and drink businesses.

Economic update – is recovery on the way?

Last November, the Office for Budget responsibility did not expect output in the UK to return to pe-crisis levels until Q4 2022, with damage to the economy described as ‘lasting’ and ‘scarring’ (see our Eating In vs Dining out 2021 part II report).

James Walton, our Chief Economist, will review the latest economic indicators and provide his views on the state of the UK economy in 2021 and what this means for the food industry.

Shopper data – pressures on the household budget

The economic downturn is having an impact on shoppers. Michael Freedman, our Senior Shopper Insight Manager, will review our latest ShopperVista data and look at some of the key areas impacting shoppers at the start of 2021 including:

  • COVID-19
  • EU Exit
  • Food prices
  • Job insecurity
  • Utility bills
  • Product availability

Sign up here for the free webinar: EU-UK transition – latest moves

More economic news and analysis