Ely-based G’s Fresh, which supplies salads and vegetables to leading supermarkets has joined with Cambridgeshire Euro MP Alex Mayer to warn about the consequences of a no-deal Brexit.
Ms Mayer visited G’s farm near Ely last Friday, (1st February), to meet with the logistics team preparing for no-deal. They are facing the prospect of mile-long traffic jams at the English Channel ports, even if there is just a 2 minute delay due to extra paperwork and red tape.
As well as its farms in Britain, the company has 6,000 hectares of farmland in Spain which it uses to grow vegetables like lettuce, radish and celery for British shoppers in winter. The veg is packed on the field before it is taken to the UK via lorry and often goes straight to the supermarket shelves, avoiding the need for a warehouse, keeping costs down and the veg fresh.
But even without the expected tariffs of a no-deal Brexit, G’s is warning that long queues at the Channel ports and extra bureaucracy could mean the cost of getting the veg to shop shelves will go up. For example the cost of iceberg lettuce could go up from 65p to close to 80p.
John Shropshire, chairman of the international farming business said: “We’re a global company and will continue whatever the outcome of Brexit but consumers have seen enormous benefits from the efficiencies of being in the single market. The competition and ease of movement has kept prices down but now a no-deal could mean higher prices.”
Alex Mayer MEP: “Whether it’s big or small farms, suppliers are warning about the cost of a no-deal Brexit for shoppers. Wages have been facing a squeeze for years, if food prices go up, shoppers will be caught between a rock and a hard place.”