Salmon, Beef, Whisky Exports From U.K. to EU Plunge After Brexit


U.K. exports of salmon, beef and whisky to the European Union plunged in January as Brexit roiled the food industry.

Salmon shipments declined 98% from the same period a year earlier, while sales of beef fell 92%, according to data compiled by the Food and Drink Federation, a lobby group. Food and drink exports to Germany, Ireland and Italy fell by more than 80%, the FDF said.

The industry has been one of the worst-hit by Brexit, with companies having to file new documents such as export health certificates to ship goods across the English Channel. Small firms sending limited consignments have been unable to share space on the same lorry, while many shipments have faced lengthy delays, causing products to spoil.

While the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on sales, “much” of the decline is due to new red tape faced by firms since Brexit, the FDF said in a statement on Monday.

“It is extremely worrying that our exports to the EU have fallen by more than 75% in January,” said Dominic Goudie, the FDF’s head of international trade. “Businesses face significant challenges when trading with the EU, and small businesses in particular have been shut out because groupage distribution is not working.”

The total value of food and drink exported to the EU from the U.K. in Jan. 2020 was 1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion), according to the FDF. This fell to 256 million pounds in Jan. 2021, the FDF said.

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