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AB Foods Says No-Deal Brexit Would Be 'Reckless'

Published on Jan 18 2019 8:00 AM in Retail tagged: Trending Posts / AB Foods / Primark / Brexit

AB Foods Says No-Deal Brexit Would Be 'Reckless'

Leaving the European Union at the end of March without a deal would be 'reckless' for Britain, the finance chief of Primark owner Associated British Foods, said on Thursday.

Other business leaders in Britain have warned of catastrophic job losses and chaos at ports if the country does not agree on terms for its withdrawal from the European Union, now little over two months away.

As well as owning the Primark fashion chain, AB Foods is one of Britain's biggest food producers with brands such as Ovaltine, Ryvita, Twinings and Jordans. It also owns major sugar, agriculture and ingredients businesses and generated revenue of £15.6 billion ($20.1 billion) in 2018-19.

"If anybody believes that you can just go ahead without some sort of an agreement here, I think that that is reckless," finance director John Bason told Reuters.

'Free-Flowing Border'

"The UK's food supply generally is dependent on the free flowing border," he said.

Bason noted that most of the food AB Foods sells in the UK is produced in the country.

He said the firm had stockpiled essential machinery that is sourced from outside the UK, or consumables, such as ink, that are needed in production processes.

"This isn't like warehouse upon warehouse with food flowing out of it. It isn't like that," he said.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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