7th MAY 2020 - Page 52

FEBRUARY 07 2019
How can you expect small food firms
to plan for every Brexit outcome
USINESSES here are being
requested to prepare for
Brexit. But the problem is that
they still don’t know what
they should be preparing for.
Is Northern Ireland going to ‘crash
out’ with the rest of the UK without
a trade deal or is there going to be a
‘managed’ withdrawal? Is there going
to be a backstop? Nothing is clear
… and it hasn’t been for very many
We still don’t know for sure what lies
ahead as the end of March deadline
looms. It’s a situation that makes
business planning exceptionally
difficult. Our companies just don’t
have the resources and especially the
funds to cover every option.
Most of the food and drink
companies here really don’t know
what to expect. They accept, of
course, that withdrawal from the EU
is the democratic will of a majority
of people in the UK. But Northern
Ireland’s geographic position merits
special consideration to protect the
economy here and the wellbeing of
all our people. This is, of course, the
reason why the proposed backstop
was welcomed by so many business
leaders and organisations.
Food for
Michele Shirlow
Chief Executive of
Food NI
Food NI is not involved in politics.
Our role is to promote and support
our food and drink processors as
well as hospitality businesses. We are
dedicated to helping accelerate the
profitable growth of what is our most
important industry.
We want to see Northern Ireland
harnessing the business potential of
our recognition as the World’s Best
Food Destination. We have a vibrant,
innovative and increasingly successful
industry that’s winning sales steadily
in Britain, the Republic of Ireland and
indeed further afield.
Some companies have decided to
do nothing in the hope that Brexit
won’t really happen. Others think it
may be postponed or may have to
go to a second public referendum,
A farm-based dairy business, the
company could face a much higher WTO
tariff of 34 per cent from April.
Abernethy Butter
now available
throughout Britain
closely with them in our most important
market outside Northern Ireland,” she
“The new business with Cotswold Fayre
is very exciting and is a tremendous
endorsement of the consistently high
quality and outstanding taste of our
handcrafted butter. It’s marvellous that
their customers have been asking for our
butter,” Allison continues.
The enterprising couple use only
traditional techniques on their 66-acre
farm in County Down, which has been in
Will’s family for generations.
They source cream for the butter from
cows grazing on the lush green pastures
of the Lagan Valley in County Antrim. All
that is added to the natural butter is a
pinch of salt.
The butter is
available in
delis, farm
shops and
smaller retailers
across Northern
which many hope will democratically
halt the withdrawal process. A
second referendum, however, looks
increasingly unlikely.
One thing that is certain is that
a withdrawal that pushes our
companies to do business within
World Trade Organisation (WTO)
rules could be a catastrophe
because higher tariffs will undermine
competitiveness. Withdrawal could
also see more and cheaper food
from other parts of the world being
imported into a post-Brexit UK and
make doing business extremely
difficult for our producers.
Withdrawal without a deal will bring
serious hurdles that could undermine
the overall competitiveness of our
food and drink producers in Britain
as well as in the EU and other
markets, especially if the UK has to
be accepted by the EU as a ‘Third
Country’. This is likely to mean that
food producers may have to seek
recognition within the Third Country
procedure. If they are not accepted
they won’t be able to trade within the
EU. They will still be required to meet
EU requirements.
Special export licences will also be
required for trading with the EU for
not only every consignment going
there (so one for every customer
every time they get a delivery) but if a
delivery contains one or more species
or food types, a separate licence is
required for each one, so multiple
licences each time.
Export licences must be applied for
at least three days prior to the date
of despatch according to DAERA,
providing details of the name of the
product, the quantity and weight
along with any special requirement
fields needed for each product. So
for beef this would mean proving all
the specific cattle numbers and kill
dates of the animals used to produce
that batch of beef and substantiating
traceability documents. A member
of DAERA must be present to inspect
each consignment immediately prior
to despatch to the EU. DAERA may
not have enough inspectors for this.
Another export business recently
outlined a problem being faced
over a requirement for a new EORI
(European Operator Registration and
Identification) number after the end
of March to enable it to continue to
sell to the EU, a requirement that has
involved extensive investment and
without any guarantee of a reasonable
return for a smaller business with
limited financial resources. A farmbased dairy business, the company
could face a much higher WTO tariff
of 34 per cent from April, which
would make the products virtually
It goes without saying that
this uncertainty is distracting
for businesses. I commend our
companies for their focus and energy
at this exceptionally difficult time.
Mackle Pet Food Naturo
range popular in Asda
ACKLE Pet Foods premium range Naturo will
be increasing its offering
in Asda stores across the
UK from February 2019.
Already available in almost 400
stores, the Naturo 400g tray will
now be stocked in an additional 130
stores, while the Naturo variety
pack canned food will be launched
into 350 stores, a first for the
retailer. This latest announcement
builds on the growing presence of
the Naturo brand in the UK, which
generated multi-million pound
sales in 2018 alone.
The market growth in the UK is
reflective of changing attitudes
to maintaining the health and
wellbeing of pets, with many pet
owners switching from other
brands to natural food. Since
Naturo was launched in 2013,
the range has increased from for
varieties to 33, a result of constant
innovation and development in
response to customer feedback
and market trends.
The County Tyrone team expects
to announce the introduction of a
LEFT: Laura Rafferty, Marketing
Manager, Naturo, and Emma
Swann, Buying Manager, Asda NI,
welcomes an increased offering
of Naturo, Mackle PetFoods
premium range, in Asda stores
across the UK from February.
dry food product in 2019 as well as
a specialist puppy range.
Asda launched Naturo in selected
stores in May 2018 and now stocks
eight products, including ‘Grain
Free’ Trays and variety packs.
Manager for Naturo, said: “In the
eight months since ASDA began
stocking Naturo, our relationship
has gone from strength to strength.
“The growth in natural petfood
sales is a response to several
market and societal factors
including the ‘humanisation’ of
pets by their owners, the desire
to feed pets with high quality
premium food and an interest in
pet ‘wellness’.
Emma Swan, Buying Manager for
Asda NI, added: “The successful
expansion of the Naturo range
across Asda’s store network
demonstrates our commitment as
a retailer to stock the very best
Northern Ireland products on
shelves throughout the UK. As a
result we are now able to offer pet
lovers who shop with us an even
greater variety when it comes to a
high-quality product offering.”
Transport for London buyers to meet NI firms
which is the owner and operator of
one of Europe’s largest integrated
transport networks.
“They run London’s buses,
Underground network and some of
the London rail network, and are
undoubtedly one of the leaders in
responsible procurement in the UK
public sector.”
David Wylie, Chief Procurement
Officer at TfL, said: “We look
forward to meeting local suppliers
at this event in Lisburn, so that
they can learn more about our
procurement requirements and
the opportunities coming up in our
supply chain. By working with us
all of our suppliers play a vital role
in keeping London moving and
driving economic growth across the
Managing Director of Lisburn-based
manufacturer Boomer Industries,
Andrew Robinson, is supporting
the event and said: “For more than
20 years we have been supplying
interior trims to Wrightbus and
Alexander Dennis Limited, who
both manufacture buses on behalf
of TfL and are therefore part of
TfL’s supply chain.It is encouraging
that TfL is coming to Lisburn to
meet with potential new suppliers.
Getting involved with TfL and
their ‘responsible procurement
programme’ is definitely an
opportunity worth exploring.”
Arcadia, 378 Lisburn Road.
Yellow Door, 427 Lisburn
Sawers Deli, Fountain
Centre, College Street.
Swantons Gourmet Foods,
Lisburn Road.
St George’s Food Market,
Oxford Street,
Every Saturday and Sunday;
Ballylagan Organic Farm
Shop, 12 Ballylagan Road,
Barr’s Deli, Ballymoney
Street, Ballymena.
Montgomery’s Ballymoney
Street, Ballymena.
Jackson’s Butchers and
Bakery, Main Street,
Park Deli, Ballycastle.
Templepatrick Market
Fourth Sunday; 11am-6pm.
Chapman’s Deli and Farm
Shop, Dobbin Road,
Forthill Farm Shop, 80
Ballymore Road, Tandragee.
John R Dowey and Son, 20
High Street, Lurgan.
Yellow Door Deli & Patisserie,
John Mitchell Place Market,
Walled City Market, Guildhall
Square, First Saturday;
Culdrum Organic Farm,
31a Ballylintagh Road,
Ditty’s Home Bakery, Main
Street, Castledawson and
Rainey Street, Magherafelt.
JC Stewarts, Rainey Street,
Culmore Organic Farm,
Culmore House, 54 Bann
Road, Kilrea.
Churchtown Organic Farm
Shop, Strangford.
Harrison’s Farm Shop,
Ballybryan Road,
Heatherlea, Main Street,
Bangor and Strandtown,
Helen’s Bay Organic Farm, 23
Seaview Terrace, Helen’s
McCartney’s, Main Street,
McKee’s Country Store,
28 Holywood Road,
Meat Merchant, Kilmore
Industrial Estate, Moira
Orr’s, Main Street, Holywood.
Pheasant’s Hill Farm Shop,
37 Killyleagh Road,
Quail’s Fine Foods, Newry
Street, Banbridge.
The Upper Square (Market)
Every second Saturday;
MacNean Farm, Belcoo,
O’Doherty’s Fine Meats, 3
Belmore Street, Enniskillen.
Cloughbane Farm Shop 160
Tanderagee Road, Pomeroy
Deli on the Green,
Moygashel, Dungannon.
Market, Tesco’s Car Park,
First Saturday;
Canal Basin Market,
Last Saturday; 10am-2pm


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