After Brexit, Asia and Africa Might Become UK’s Biggest Suppliers

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 | 579 Views

Asia and Africa could replace the European Union as largest exporters of fruit and vegetables for the United Kingdom (UK), following the UK’s departure from the EU.

Retailers in the UK were surveyed by Barclays on their import plans after Brexit, and saw 52 percent and 43 percent of respondents expecting to see India and China as the biggest suppliers respectively.

China and India are the world’s first and second largest producers of fruit and vegetables respectively, with China producing half of the world’s vegetables and 30 percent of fruit.

In addition, 38 percent of respondents also expect to see more African products in the UK once Britain has left the EU. South African countries like Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, and Zambia have advanced export and processing capabilities, noted Susan Evans, managing director of Europe Tompkins International, and could see a rise in exports.

Retailers are also considering building more efficient supply chains following the EU referendum, and sourcing from different countries (28 percent). Although around half (52 percent) of those surveyed felt unprepared for Brexit, a sizeable majority (56 percent) felt that Brexit will have a positive impact, or no real impact on their supply chain.

Ian Gilmartin, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays commented on the findings, finding it “reassuring to note that most retailers don’t intend to pass on costs to their customers and will instead look for other ways to tackle supply chain issues.”