Shoppers in the UK could be facing higher food prices as a result of new tariffs if a Brexit trade agreement is not reached, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
As things stand, the BRC says that the average cost of imported food from the EU could increase by 22%.
In addition, the group added that the impact would be considerable if UK producers pushed their prices up in reaction to the market. From a consumer point of view, this would mean higher prices, with the cost of cheese potentially rising by 30% and tomatoes by nearly 20%.
“Price increases of this scale to everyday food items will add a huge burden to hard-pressed consumers whose finances are already under increasing strain from inflationary pressures," said Andrew Opie, the BRC's director of food policy.
“With consumers’ buying habits being dictated ever more by a shrinking pool of discretionary spend, there’s no doubt that they will find an additional hit of this magnitude to their weekly food bills extremely hard to swallow."
Opie added that there will be opportunities for new trade deals in the long term, however, the BRC is calling on the government to secure the continuity of free trade with Europe from March 2019, to avoid a cliff-edge Brexit situation.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Francesca Volpe. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.