Farmers and Food Producers: The Effects of Brexit Are “Already Being Felt”

Some farmers and food producers have already said that the effects of the Brexit referendum are already being felt even before the United Kingdom has completely withdrawn from the European Union.

The £112bn per year food industry said that the industry will be “deeply affected by Brexit” and that it has already begun to happen.

In a letter to The Sunday Times, a group of industry representatives, stated: “It is clear that the effect of the decision to leave the EU is already being felt in the sector, as uncertainty and lack of clarity impacts business confidence.”

The said letter was signed by the Food and Drink Federation, British Retail Consortium, and National Farmers Union (NFU) among over 20 business groups. It called on the government to ensure access to labour, frictionless trade, and an “efficient and proportionate regulatory system.”

The business groups wrote: “The government must be unqualified in its support for the UK’s food supply chain and the business of food production in post-Brexit Britain.”

It follows fresh data that is revealing that thousands of vacancies for work on vegetable and fruit farms across the United Kingdom remained unfilled during the previous year.

A survey that was conducted by the NFU and that was seen by reporters identified a shortfall of around 4,300 workers. The first time since that the survey was introduced in 2014, the figures were discovered not to be sufficient, while the proportion of foreign workers who are also returning declined from 41 percent in 2016 to 29 percent last year.