GB food manufacturers reduce sales to NI

GB food manufacturers reduce sales to NI
GB food manufacturers have significantly reduced sales to Northern Ireland as a result of the Protocol, according to a survey by the Food and Drink Federation.

The industry group surveyed 83 members between 4 and 19 October, and just under half the respondents were large businesses with more than 250 employees.

Among those, large business sales volumes to Northern Ireland were down by an average of 10% this year, while some smaller businesses reported larger drops in sales.

The FDF said that large businesses make up the majority of the volume of products sold to Northern Ireland from GB.

Across all businesses in the survey, sales to Northern Ireland were down by 13% on average.

Food products arriving into Northern Ireland from GB face a range of new checks and controls, but not all those checks are being applied due to grace periods.

The FDF survey suggests that if the grace periods ended without new arrangements then sales volumes from GB would fall further, by up to a third.

The respondents suggested that the biggest negative impact would be on raw materials and ingredients.

However, anecdotal evidence suggests that local producers in Northern Ireland have been able to increase sales to customers like supermarkets, particularly when it comes to fresh processed meat products like sausage and burgers.

A report by RTE says the volume of container and trailer traffic between Great Britain and Dublin Port was down 21.2% in the first nine months of this year, as a result of the impact of Brexit border controls since January.

Containers have also been reported as being less full than they were pre-Brexit. However, traffic to and from Continental ports increased by 36.3% in the same nine months.

Dublin Port Chief Executive, Eamon O’Reilly, said the only positive thing since Brexit is that much feared delays to traffic had not materialised.

He also said the “dislocation” of traffic ports in Northern Ireland would be a “permanent feature” and a reversal of what happened when the Single European Market came into being 30 years ago