Food and Drink Federation response to the Chancellor's Winter Economy Plan
23 September 2020
The FDF response to the statement by the Chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, to the House of Commons on the preparations for the end of the transition period.
Responding to the statement by the Chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, to the House of Commons on the preparations for the end of the transition period, FDF Chief Executive, Ian Wright CBE said the following:
“Industry needs no reminder that time is desperately short. Businesses are crying out for answers and we have said this over and over to ministers.
“The FDF's latest member survey showed that businesses want to prepare and are getting on with it to the best of their ability despite the impacts of Covid-19. However, the FDF has presented government with many questions on practical issues that are key to business preparations, with many of these first raised more than a year ago. These include fundamental questions about what simple commodities can be exported or face restrictions from 1 January 2021.<
“Initial delays of two days at the ports will mean trade in short shelf life goods such as fruit, vegetables and products of animal origin will not be viable in the short-term. Essential ingredients and finished consumer products will not arrive fit for human consumption.
“Government's assumptions only account for phase one of the UK's phased border model, which runs to the end of March 2021. Phases two and three will create significant additional disruption with imports of animal and plant products requiring health certification and checks as the full border operating model is rolled out.
“The absence of clarity in certain areas including product labelling means it is too late for a lot of businesses to be fully ready for 1 January 2021. We are urging the UK Government to provide targeted periods of adjustment, and even amnesty, to minimise the impacts on manufacturers and UK shoppers.”