In a recent piece by UK-based Meat Packing Journal, British industry insiders weighed in on how the meat industry may get a bottom-line boost as a result of Brexit.
What will Brexit mean? The one thing we can tell you with absolute certainty is that there has never been a time like this when buying British equipment and distribution or co-packing services; in the short term, at least, it means getting a real bargain.
During the run up to the UK’s historic vote regarding EU membership, the facts, stats, and overreactions came fast and furious. Prime Minister David Cameron said that if the UK left, it could lead to World War III (you have to wonder if this was truly the case, why did he chance it to a popular vote?). While on the leave side, Michael Grove said that with the money the UK would save by not supporting the EU, Britain could build a new hospital every other week.
Now a few weeks post-vote, the dust has yet to settle, but the disruptions happening are not what was anticipated. For those expecting great things to come out of the leave vote, it’s become clear that the architects of the leave campaign really weren’t expecting to win and they have no clue as to what to do next.
What does Brexit mean for the meat, poultry, and feed industry?
The truth is, nobody knows just how the industry will be impacted, and that’s the only fact out there. Britain is far from being self-sufficient in agriculture; the last thing the farmers of France, Spain, and eastern Europe want are tariffs imposed on Britain by the European Commission (EC).
British pig and poultry farmers have told Meat Packing Journal repeatedly that as much as they try, they find it nearly impossible to get local youths interested in the farming industry. Without Polish labor, their farms would go bust.
But very short term, if you can sign a contract tomorrow to buy into UK processing, packaging equipment, and/or co-packing services, do so now. One advantage to the industry is the unique bargaining power brought on by all the uncertainty.
As predicted, the pound fell mightily against the US dollar; as predicted, the rates are slowly climbing back up. You might never be able to have bargaining power like this again in a lifetime.
Content originally appeared in Meat Packing Journal, a UK-based publication. Reposted and modified by Tara Guthrie with the express permission of Meat Packing Journal.