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The Food Sector and Brexit

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The Food Sector and Brexit

So, how will you remember the summer of 2016? Are you “Brexited” out?


Since 24th June, there has been a lot of hype surrounding the referendum result. Choosing to leave the EU, with many its predictions, affects businesses by the level of (un)certainty. In the initial shock, share prices and the pound fell, many saw costs increase. Others see positives, benefits and opportunities to export and develop, to promote food.

Big challenges lay ahead for the UK and the food industry. Government will need to plan change carefully and with consideration. Of the many key concerns, including protected geographical indication schemes such as “Grimsby Smoked Fish”, are the movement of trade and people, the access to goods and markets.

A highly competitive sector, margins in the food sector are small. Costs have to be carefully managed. Many ingredients and raw materials are sourced from overseas, so a weakened pound increases costs. UK businesses will find opportunities to fill this gap, particularly for growers and local producers. Post-Brexit trade deals the new Prime-Minister leads on, will likely require complex negotiation with our European neighbours and the rest of the world, finding new markets and refreshing existing ones.

Smoked Fish

Industry itself will secure the livelihoods of those working in the sector. Roughly 50% of the food we eat is produced in the UK. The remainder from the EU, about 30%, then the rest of the world. We import far more food than export. The price of our food may rise and the emphasis to “buy local” will need to increase. There are many further questions being asked with decisions to make: Where to source produce? How to process it? Who will make it?

Perhaps one opportunity; UK food businesses should focus on; producing high value product and exporting it, through selective product development, placement and market choices. An opportunity to work up the “Great British Brand”. The food industry has visionaries. It will need them to sustain and grow the sector further, a future plan, for 2020 and beyond. There is optimism.

Food Manufacturing

Our future in food is a top priority and needs specialists. A leading manufacturing sector nationally, The Grimsby Institute Group offers solutions for it to nurture and grow the future food specialists for our region. The Group knows training and employee development is an investment for the businesses it works with, so the support available is aimed at helping business get the most from their budgets.

Manufacturers and Processors work hard to take practical pro-active steps to meet food markets and legislation requirements for their customers. Grimsby Institute works with many businesses to support the sector, developing research, technical, production, engineering and business leaders. The options available with the Grimsby Institute can help grow the specialisms, research and skills required across a wide and diverse sector.

The Institute is also a member of the Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Seafood Training Network with strategic alliances with other groups, to help support the local food economy.


If you’re looking to improve your food business practices, take a look at some of the courses we offer for Food Manufacturing by downloading our course guide below.


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