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Tesco warns of Brexit impact on food and prices

Tesco has warned that shoppers could face temporary shortages on fresh produce and higher prices if the UK fails to negotiate a Brexit deal with the EU, according to The Guardian.

John Allan, chairman of Tesco, told Bloomberg TV that a no-deal Brexit would “trigger tariffs” and would lead to “disruptions of food imports”, as he urged shoppers to not “panic bulk-buy”.

Alongside other UK grocers, Tesco has reportedly been preparing for what could be a “no-deal scenario” by stockpiling long-life products such as milk in its shipping facilities and with suppliers.

According to The Guardian, the risk of higher prices on food products in the event of a no-deal Brexit would be estimated at an average cost increase of 3-5%.

Allan told Bloomberg: “We may see some shortages of fresh foods, particularly short-life fresh foods. I think that will only be for a limited period, perhaps a month or two, before we get back to normal.

“I don’t think there is any reason at all for any consumer to panic or panic buy at the moment. There is still going to be plenty of food in the UK – there may just be a slightly restricted choice for a period of time.”

He added: “Some of the tariffs on imported dairy products, French cheeses for instance, can be as high as 40%-plus. If you eat a lot of UK-produced food, it will have less impact.”

 

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