The chief executive of Asda, Roger Burnley, has said that he believes any potential disruption at the UK border caused by Brexit could have “significant consequences” on food supply chains.
“What would be scary is the prospect of any hold up at the border,” Burnley told the Press Association at the weekend.
“Any prospect of a hold up – that includes the southern Ireland border – would have very significant consequences.
“You’d be eating into the life of products with all sorts of implications for waste, for freshness, for quality.”
Burnley noted that potential delays at the Irish border could have a detrimental effect on meat imports at the retailer.
“A lot of our meat comes from Ireland, the prospect of a border control that slowed things down there would be quite dramatic on that part of our business,” he said.
He added that “hassle-free, frictionless borders” are essential to the proper functioning of food supply chains, and should be a “number one” priority.
Burnley’s comments echoed that of Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe and Tesco’s Dave Lewis, who similarly have voiced concerns on the impact of Brexit on food prices in the UK.
Burnley added that he remained “hopeful” that the UK government can agree a sufficient trade agreement with the EU.
This morning, Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned from his position, putting pressure on Theresa May’s government as the Brexit deadline looms.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine