Rumours are swirling that a deal with the EU is “in the tunnel” but for us outside the negotiating room, it’s really hard to know exactly what is going on.
By the time you read this – we may have an answer! Yet even if a deal is reached, it is likely that discussions over the finer points of the agreement will continue into the New Year.
Deal or no deal is still the question
The key date for us all – at the moment – is still the end of 31st December, 2020 when the transition period officially ends. At this point, we may – or may not – be trading on WTO terms and may – or may not – face tariffs on our imported goods!
This lack of clarity is troubling, but we already know that whether we have tariffs or not, we will need to adapt new ways of working such as using different paperwork, to bring goods into the country. Thanks to the rigorous plans and contingencies put in place by our suppliers, it is highly likely disruption will be kept to a minimum at least in the very short term, yet it’s always a good idea to plan for a worst case scenario.
Care homes first in line for Covid vaccine
Hot off the press is the announcement that Britain’s regulators have approved the Pfizer vaccine for use in the UK.
Care home residents, over 80s and frontline carers and health workers top the list as first recipients of this novel vaccine – if the logistics of distribution can be worked out. We hope that this, combined with the falling levels of Covid cases will herald the opening of more venues, restaurants and pubs, allowing us to socialise with family and friends once again as well as opening the door for international travel.
Important to know
We promised to keep you updated about availability and pricing. Fresh fruit and vegetables are readily available. Here are our top picks:
Fresh Seasonal Produce
Great news! Our supply partners have confirmed that there is a good supply of root vegetables, sprouts, cauliflowers and broccoli, the basis of many winter meals. We do not anticipate any supply issues and only minimal, if any, price increases on these products.
Stone fruit is growing in popularity, particularly plums and apricots. Prices will remain high this month as they are transported in by air. We expect prices to fall once container-transported produce arrives on our shores. Most of this produce is from South Africa and should not be impacted by Brexit.
Look out for UK-produced rhubarb later this month. Grown in Yorkshire and harvested by candlelight to prevent the bitter-causing photosynthesis, this will be a cheaper and better tasting alternative to imported produce.
Fresh meat is available but we may face price increases if we leave the EU without a deal. Here are our predictions:
Approximately one third of the UK’s meat is imported from the EU so if we leave the transition period without a deal and under WTO terms, we will face increased prices for our imported meat.
We believe that mainly due to tariffs imposed, this could mean increases of approximately:
- 17% on beef
- 15% on poultry
- 18% on pork
In addition, if delays cause shortages of imported meat, demand and, therefore, prices will rise for UK-produced meat.
There is some good news: our suppliers believe that UK lamb prices would fall!
Be transparent, be adaptable, be flexible – a reminder
This is your weekly reminder that there may be a temporary reduction in choice until all importers work well within the new systems.
The more we understand your business needs and your future plans, the better we can help forecast what you will need and ensure that products are available when you need them, finding alternative ingredients should the market indicate any supply issues.
…but mindful of stockpiling goods, in particular those with a shorter shelf life, as this can contribute to supply issues and increase waste.
…to be flexible with your menu choices as alternative products will be available whilst your preferred option may be temporarily reduced. We can work with you and our suppliers to create a flexible menu that allows you to adapt your offer around what is available.
We absolutely understand that for some, business planning in the current world of Covid is hard, but the more we talk, the more we can understand your thoughts around your business needs, share ideas and help you with your future plans. In doing so, we can arm your suppliers with the information to prepare ensuring that products are available when you need them, or finding alternative ingredients should the market indicate any supply issues.
We are here to help you
We look forward to working closely with you in the future
Ray and the MPP team.
This is also available in our Resource Centre