Irish Exporters Believe UK Still Offers Significant Potential
Bord Bia, the Irish food board, has released a report that shows a renewed optimism for the Irish food and drink industry’s trading relationship with the UK market.
The UK market was worth over €4 billion last year to Irish exporters. According to Bord Bia’s Brexit Barometer, almost 80% of exporters believe there is still significant potential for future growth in the UK market.
This is despite the fact that 85% of respondents said that they are facing competition from UK-based suppliers, and 61% do not have a marketing strategy for other markets.
Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia said, “Brexit will demand a nuanced and concerted response from every level of the food industry. It will require new skills, new approaches and new thinking. We will need to be innovative, agile, informed and prepared as never before."
“These are demands that will be made on Bord Bia as much as the industry we represent. Following what we believe to be the most comprehensive industry analysis to date, we are currently engaged in a comprehensive review of our structures and programmes to ensure that we perform to the level required of us in this changing and challenging environment.”
Bord Bia reports that there has been a realisation among Irish exporters that dependence is too great on the UK market and diversification will be important going forward.
The organisation added that over 80% of respondents believe there are viable alternative markets for their products, however, sectors such as beef and cheddar cheese will be challenged to find replacement markets.
The report noted that for Irish exporters to create new business opportunities outside the UK, localised marketing strategies, along with structured customer acquisition programmes, and feet on the ground will be necessary.
Implementation of new customs controls and potential tariffs remain the greatest concerns. Around 30% of companies have limited or no experience in complying with official requirements relating to the importation or exportation of goods from/to non-EU locations, while 80% have not considered the VAT cashflow implications of Brexit.
In addition, respondents believe that they have reasonably well-developed practices for managing currency risks, however, this will be further tested by the devaluation of the Sterling.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.