Brexit: What beverage companies think it will mean for their business

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

57% of respondents say Brexit will have a negative effect on their business. Pic:iStock/AlexLMX
57% of respondents say Brexit will have a negative effect on their business. Pic:iStock/AlexLMX

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Brexit could help UK businesses realize there are opportunities outside of Europe – but it could also result in complications, uncertainty and slowed growth for the beverage sector.

That’s according to those who responded to our ‘Brexit and your business’ survey last week.  

While there are still many unknowns about Brexit and its implication for businesses, the survey can help us understand how businesses believe they may be impacted.

More than half of respondents said they believe that Brexit will negatively affect their business (57%). However, 32% disagreed with this statement, while 11% said they were still in the dark as to whether the impact of the UK’s departure from the EU would have positive or negative implications for their business.  

Red tape?

Opinion is divided on a key issue for any business: as to whether Brexit will mean less red tape for operations or not. 38% of respondents agree that Brexit will result in less red tape, but 47% disagree with such a claim. However, 15% said they didn’t know what the impact is likely to be.   

72% of respondents believe that UK food prices will increase post-Brexit.

Meanwhile, 51% of respondents say their business will face supply chain disruptions, while 34% don’t expect to see such challenges.

New opportunities?

Some respondents shared that Brexit could bring opportunities for those who widen their sights outside of Europe, and offer opportunities for exports.

Indeed, 24% of respondents held a similar view, agreeing that Brexit will open up new markets for their goods.

But this was far outweighed by 66% of respondents who disagreed (34%) or strongly disagreed (32%) that there would be new markets for them.

The pound fell following the Brexit vote and some respondents note this could offer advantages for exports, but others believe these benefits are short term and could be outweighed by the possibility of recession and effect of uncertainty.

Standards: up or down?

Two-thirds of respondents expect to see the UK continue to apply EU food, beverage and feed legislation, although 15% don’t believe this will be the case.

Similarly, 70% are confident that Brexit will not mean watered down safety standards, although there is still a portion (17%) who believe this is a concern.

One of the biggest unknowns for those surveyed is EU tariffs: 28% say they don’t know whether Brexit will mean they face significant EU tariffs. Meanwhile, 43% believe their business will face significant EU tariffs, while 28% disagree that this will be the case.

Opinion was fairly evenly balanced as to whether Brexit could be expected to lead to an increase in redundancies in the short term (35% believe redundancies can be expected in their business, 38% disagree that this will be the case, while the remaining 27% don’t know what to expect in this regard).

* BeverageDaily readers were invited to take place in our Brexit and your business survey, with responses submitted last week.

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