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Aldi asks suppliers to prepare for ‘No Deal’ Brexit

Aldi has reportedly reached out to its suppliers in the UK asking them to begin contingency planning in the case of a ‘no deal’ Brexit amid fears over potential food shortages.

According to The Sunday Times, the discounter emailed suppliers last month to say it wanted to work with them “to help understand the potential implications” and to “mitigate any negative impacts”.

The email is said to have included a serious of questions asking firms about the breakdowns of any ingredients and packaging materials sourced from the EU, the percentage of EU staff they employed, and the implications of WTO tariffs for their products.

News of the initiative comes amid growing fears that the stockpiling of food and other essential goods might be necessary if it looks like the UK will crash out of the EU in March next year without a trade deal.

Dominic Raab, the new Brexit secretary, said last week that he would ensure the UK had “adequate food supplies” in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario. He did not give details of the plans but implied it was the responsibility of the food industry, saying: “It would be wrong to describe it as the government doing the stockpiling.”

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) responded by saying the stockpiling of food was “not a practical response” to a ‘no deal’ on Brexit and the industry had not been approached by government to begin planning for this.

However, some suppliers told The Sunday Times that they were under pressure from retailers to make their own arrangements. A supplier of coffee to Aldi is quoted as saying: “Most of the major retailers have been asking their suppliers how we are planning for the implications of Brexit – and especially how we are planning to ensure we do not run out of the goods we bring in from the EU. They can easily sit back and say they have no plans or concerns because, as usual in this relationship, it will be the suppliers who make the plans.”

Aldi has not publicly commented on the matter yet.




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