Food and drink exports crippled by Brexit and lockdowns

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UK food and drink exports have suffered a huge year-on-year trade reduction according to new data from HMRC. 

Data compiled by the Food and Drink Federation shows showed a £42m fall in cheese exports – from £45m to just £7m – whilst whisky exports fell from £105m to just £40m. Chocolate exports also suffered, dropping almost 70% to £13m. 

Whilst the biggest falls in export value, these were by no means the worst affected products. Salmon and beef dropped 98% and 92% respectively. 

Causes of the drop in export demand include a combination of Brexit and weaker demand from a continent that still largely remains in lockdown with restaurants shut.

Read more: Trade between UK and EU nations falls

An ONS spokesperson added some context to the data, noting that: “A unique combination of factors, including stockpiling last year, Covid lockdowns across Europe and businesses adjusting to our new trading relationship, made it inevitable that exports to the EU would be lower this January than last.”

If your business has been impacted, we can help

Go Exporting has already helped a number of companies both prepare for Brexit, and now workaround new restrictions, regulations and challenges. 

Our Brexit FastTrack service offers a detailed review of businesses post-Brexit to help resolve the issues they’re encountering – with a quick turnaround and at a fixed price. 

Some firms may also be able to reclaim the cost of this service via the SME Brexit Support Fund.  

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