Fears of shortages in the event of a hard Brexit in the UK have led one of the country’s biggest confectionary suppliers to begin stockpiling ingredients.
Mondelez International, owner of the Cadbury brands, confirmed that it is building up supplies ahead of Britain’s departure from the EU next year and uncertainty about what terms it will leave on.
The prospect of Britain departing with no deal has forced the company to draw up contingency plans to protect supplies of ingredients, including chocolate and biscuits for its range of products, which include Dairy Milk, Bourneville and Twirl.
Mondelez Europe president Hubert Weber told The Times newspaper: “Like the whole of the food and drink industry in the UK, we would prefer a good deal that allows the free flow of products, as that would have less of an impact to the UK consumer.
“However, we are also preparing for a hard Brexit and, from a buffering perspective for Mondelēz, we are stocking higher levels of ingredients and finished products, although you can only do so much because of the shelf life of our products.
“We have a contingency plan in place to manage [a hard Brexit], as the UK is not self-sufficient in terms of food ingredients, so that could be a challenge.”
Stockpiling to offset the effects of a hard Brexit is taking place in a number of industry sectors, including drugs and medical supplies for hospitals and car parts for the motor industry.
This follows a government warning to businesses who transport goods to the EU that they should make plans to establish warehouses in preparation for delays caused by a hard Brexit, which could lead to time-consuming border checks and more red tape.
In a series of documents advising on measures in the event of no departure deal being struck, the government also advises firms to invest in the right software and start working with logistics suppliers now to protect their supply chains.
Border checks at British ports for vehicles registered in the EU take around two minutes, but this may increase to 20 minutes in the event of a hard Brexit.