More food companies looking to expand into new markets due to Brexit

Europe is the most popular, followed by the USA and Canada

More food companies looking to expand into new markets due to Brexit

Image via @Bordbia on Twitter

A new Brexit Barometer survey suggests 74% food, drink and horticulture companies have made progress in preparing for potential Brexit outcomes.

The Bord Bia 2018 Brexit Barometer also shows 85% of those surveyed are actively seeking to expand their business into new markets.

Europe is the most popular at 86%, followed by the USA and Canada (49%), the Middle East (49%) and China (33%).

Some 61% of respondents say that they have developed a marketing strategy specifically tailored for non-UK markets, compared to 56% in 2017.

Some 97% remain committed to Ireland as a supply base, while 54% have tailored marketing strategies specifically for the UK.

The most attractive growth markets, outside of the UK | Source: Bord Bia

The barometer questioned people on Brexit readiness - along with six key Brexit issues that face the sector: UK customer relationships, supply chain, customs and tariffs, financial resilience, marketing diversification and emerging risks.

The survey found that while 60% remain uncertain as to the impact of Brexit on their business, 74% have made progress in preparing for potential outcomes compared to this time last year.

Some 25% of companies said they were pessimistic about Brexit's impact on their business.

While 62% of respondents have mapped their supply chain to identify possible delays, costs and customs challenges arising from Brexit.

And 40% have taken steps to reduce their supply chain costs as a result of Brexit.

In terms of sourcing, 24% of companies have changed their sourcing strategy.

Source: Bord Bia

Almost half (45%) of companies surveyed believe they have "reasonable or significant experience" in dealing with official requirements relating to the importation or exportation of goods from non-European Union markets.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said: "It is heartening to see the progress Irish food and drink exporters have made in the last 12 months in preparing for the challenge that Brexit presents.

"Trade to our largest food and drink export market expanded by 7% in 2017 to reach €4.4bn, confirmation of the extent to which our two countries remain finely tuned in terms of supply and demand.

"Though uncertainty remains a constant element for these companies, the 2018 Bord Bia Brexit Barometer shows significant progress has been made in a number of areas."

Source: Bord Bia

Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy added: "In the two years since the UK voted to leave the European Union, Bord Bia has taken the view that the Irish food industry must plan, act and take ownership, where possible, of the risks it poses.

"The Brexit Barometer has been a central and insightful resource in this regard.

"While uncertainly remains, I can say with confidence that Bord Bia is proactively working to fully support companies who are responding to the challenges of Brexit and building their potential for better trade outcomes in the future."

Read the report in full here