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December 10, 2020

Food supplies to Northern Ireland to be disruption-free under new post-Brexit grace period

A new Brexit development has provided a boost to those supplying Northern Ireland supermarkets from the rest of the UK after 1 January.

By Leonie Barrie

Food supplies to Northern Ireland supermarkets from the rest of the UK will carry on without disruption for three months from 1 January whatever happens in the ongoing Brexit trade talks.

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What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
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Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove told the House of Commons yesterday (9 December) that supermarkets will be given extra time to phase in new border checks, ensuring food supplies to Northern Ireland do not face disruption.

The move will give supermarkets more time to adapt their systems to deal with new Brexit controls required by the European Union.

Under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol – which is intended to prevent a hardening of the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – the province will leave the EU Customs Union with the rest of the UK at the end of this year but will continue to enforce the EU’s customs code at its ports.

Goods arriving from the rest of the UK are supposed to be checked and controlled at Northern Ireland’s ports from 1 January.

The check-free grace period will initially be for three months, with six months guaranteed for chilled-meat products.

Gove said the Government had heard “loud and clear” the concerns of supermarket firms and that more flexibility was needed.

“British sausages will continue to make their way to Belfast and Ballymena in the new year,” he said.

Commenting on the development, Ian Wright, chief executive of UK industry body The Food & Drink Federation (FDF), said: “The FDF has continuously called for a trusted trader scheme to be extended to all food and drink movements into Northern Ireland. Michael Gove’s announcement is positive news. We await the detailed terms and conditions to accompany this scheme and the derogations from current legal obligations that will apply beyond April 2021. The devil is in the detail.”

Meanwhile, talks are still ongoing to try and secure a trade deal between the UK and the EU to kick in after 1 January when the post-Brexit transition period ends and the UK goes it alone. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels last night to try and iron out existing differences but no agreement has yet been reached and the parties say Sunday (13 December) is now the deadline for any deal to be signed off.

Yesterday, the UK’s biggest supermarket group, Tesco, said it was stockpiling food ahead of a potential no-deal Brexit, amid concerns potential blockages at the country’s ports could lead to product shortages.

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Free Report
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What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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