Fresh Produce Consortium Criticises UK's Post-Brexit Border Strategy

By Dayeeta Das
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Fresh Produce Consortium Criticises UK's Post-Brexit Border Strategy

The chief executive of Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC), Nigel Jenney, has condemned the UK government's post-Brexit border solution, saying that "we have become the laughingstock of Europe."

The second phase of Britain's new post-Brexit border controls for food imports from the European Union will commence on 30 April.

The Fresh Produce Consortium has urged the government to make official inspections available at appropriate hours and ensure a border strategy that guarantees food security at a reasonable cost for the industry and consumers.

The association highlighted that the move will result in 'exorbitant government costs', including 'common user charges' up to £14,500 per 100 consignments.

At around £1,450 for each vehicle (mixed load), it will add millions of pounds in annual costs to the supply chain.


Small companies will incur a fee of more than £50,000, while major importers will spend more than £1 million.

“The Government has single-handedly created the world’s most inefficient and expensive border,” stated Jenney.

“This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has been squandered and we now await government-enforced consequences for both businesses and consumers”.

Areas Of Concern

The FPC warned of delays and disruption in the process as it was only recently informed that official inspection staff will not be available at control points beyond 7 pm.


Around 95% of all the goods in the fresh segment arrive beyond these hours, the association noted.

Jenney added, “We've offered workable solutions for years, but the government has procrastinated and shown total incompetence.

"To avoid this self-made crisis, we recently proposed a handful of inspectors at key points to support the EU trade; a solution perfectly suited to our just-in-time, perishable goods industry. Yet, this was rejected outright."

The FPC added that the solutions offered by the UK government knowingly add £200 million of avoidable costs to the sector and ultimately hard-pressed consumers.


It is clear the government has 'no understanding or interest' in the UK’s diverse horticultural sector or its international partners and they simply 'take for granted' the nation’s food and flower supply, it added.

Read More: New Brexit Border Checks Could Stifle Fine Food Imports From EU, Warn Sellers

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