Industry Insights · 38min read

Brexit Updates: EU & UK Food Industry Supply Chains

Get the latest food industry news, guidelines and services.

Having followed the lead up to the end of the Brexit transition period closely, at foodcircle, we continue to monitor the Brexit deal’s effects on food supply chains as they unfold. 

From the urgent need for more digitalised processes and call for more sustainable practices to challenges around customs regulations and operational shifts—we bring you the latest headlines from Brexit’s effect on EU and UK food supply chains. At the end of this article, we have also compiled a list of helpful guidelines and documents to help your business navigate the regulatory changes.


How Brexit Is Impacting Small Exporters and Importers | Speciality Food Magazine

April 13 | A closer look at how small businesses are grappling with Brexit-induced export and import requirements. Estimates show that around 20% of small businesses in the UK have paused exports to the EU as a result. Read more on


100 Days On, What impact Has Brexit Had on UK-EU Trade? | Euronews

April 11 | Trade barriers, halted exports and market collapses—three months into Brexit, the UK’s food and agriculture industries are still struggling. Read more on 


Managing Incidents in the Post-Brexit Era | New Food Magazine

April 8 | Key takeaways on how the FSA is managing food incidents, such as allergen recalls and fraudulent activities, post-Brexit. Read more on  


What Brexit Means for Wholesalers | Speciality Food Magazine

April 8 | A brief overview of the implications on the UK’s wholesale food supply chain, including orders, the workforce, stocks, organics, COIs and pricing. Read more on 


Brexit: The Impact on Dutch Food Exports to the UK | The BBC

April 1 | A closer look at how the Netherland’s exports of fresh food to the UK have been impacted by Brexit. Read more on


UK Chocolate Producers Among Hardest Hit in Post-Brexit Exports to EU | Confectionery News

March 23 | According to recent data, whisky, chocolate and cheese manufacturers have suffered the biggest losses in the F&B sector since the start of the year. Read more on 


UK Food Exports Drop 75% in First Month of Post-Brexit Trade | Euractiv

March 23 | Data published by the UK’s Food and Drink Federation reveals that the UK’s F&B exports to the EU collapsed significantly on a year-over-year basis after Brexit came into effect. Read more on 


British Food Faces ‘Outright Export Bans’ in Wake of EU Exit | Food Manufacture

March 23 | Structural trade barriers, export bans and insurmountable bureaucracy are posing threats to the UK’s food and agricultural produce sectors. Read more on 


Data Shows Collapse of UK Food and Drink Exports Post-Brexit | The Guardian

March 22 | The FDF reveals the shocking truth about how much exports have plummeted, and in some cases even come to a halt entirely, since Brexit. Read more on 


The Brexit Issues Leaving a Bitter Taste | New Food Magazine

March 17 | Bridge Cheese Founder, Michael Harte, shares insights into the challenges companies face in navigating the new import and export landscape. Read more on 


Brexit Latest: Food Sector at the Centre of UK-EU Dispute | Speciality Food Magazine

March 16 | The EU responds to the UK’s extension of the Northern Ireland Protocol grace period to relax checks for supermarket suppliers with legal action. Read more on


Border Checks Set to Rise and UK Relaxes Rules for Imports | Food Manufacture

March 12 | While the EU increases checks for UK imports, the UK becomes more lenient. Stricter legislation coming into effect in the EU on April 21 will impact F&B products across the board and is likely to decrease UK exports to the EU further. Read more on


Organic Food Hit by UK’s ‘1970s’ Brexit Red Tape | Politico

March 10 | Costs incurred by post-Brexit red tape and lack of clarity around the launch of a faster, digitalised system are causing global organic food producers to consider reducing organic exports to the UK. Read more on


Trade and Agriculture Commission Report: ‘Bold Vision’ or ‘Hollow’ Promises? | Speciality Food Magazine

March 9 | The TAC’s first report has drawn both praise and critique for its recommendations to liberalise trade while protecting British food standards. Read more on 


British Food Producers Champion Heritage Post-Brexit | Speciality Food Magazine

March 8 | The UK government continues to encourage its citizens to shop locally produced food and drinks. Read more on 


Food Scarcity Fears Prompt Plan to Ease Post-Brexit Checks on EU Imports | The Guardian

March 6 | Fears of further border disruptions and potential supermarket shortages have created room for conversations around lightening the border controls on imports to the UK from April 1. Read more on 


Importing and Exporting Organic Food from 1 January 2021 | Ni Business Info

(Updated) March 4 | This comprehensive overview provides a country-by-country breakdown of post-Brexit import and export regulations for the organic sector. Read more on 


UK’s Waiver Extension to Irish Sea Border Checks Deemed Illegal by EU | just food

March 4 | The EU claims that the UK’s decision to extend the grace period for agri-food products entering Northern Ireland by four months is illegal. Read more on 


Post-Brexit Deals Must Not Compromise UK Food Standards, Says Trade Body | The Guardian

March 2 | The Food and Agriculture Commission has proposed guidelines that encourage a liberalised approach to trade in food and agriculture to ensure high food and animal welfare standards are upheld despite Brexit. Read more on


Brexit Hits German Exports to the UK | Deutsche Welle

March 2, 2021 | Data published by the German Statistics Office reveals that German exports to the UK dropped by 30% this January in a year-over-year comparison. Read more on 


Brexit and the Fine Food Sector | Speciality Food Magazine

March 2, 2021 | Take a closer look at how new Brexit requirements are impacting Britain’s specialty producers and retailers. Read more on


Deal with EU Offers ‘Little Relief’ to Exporters | Food Manufacture

March 1, 2021 | According to policy adviser Peter Hardwock, the UK’s Brexit deal does little to reduce the burden on exporters to the EU. Read more on 


Hilarity at UK Supermarket’s Attempt to ‘De-Europeanise’ Food Products | The London Economic

March 1, 2021 | An attempt of British manufacturers to re-label foods with ‘more British’ names as part of the government’s Buy Britain Campaign is met with backlash. Read more on


Delays at the UK/EU Border ‘Getting Worse’ | just food

March 1, 2021 | A recent survey by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) has revealed that 58% of UK businesses claim the situation at borders has worsened since January. Read more on 


Brexit: Shortages and Delays will Grow Say Supply Chain Reps | Food Manufacture

February 26, 2021 | Supply chain and logistics experts are warning that the phasing in of new rules in upcoming months are likely to lead to stock shortages and random delays. Read more on 


Food and Drink Companies Running Low on Stock as Hauliers Refuse to Enter UK | The Grocer

February 24, 2021 | Since the UK left the EU in January, an increasing number of hauliers are abandoning travel to the UK, which is making it difficult for producers and manufacturers to move their goods between the borders. Read more on 


Brexit Causing Supply Problems for Small UK Manufacturers - Survey | Financial Post

February 15, 2021 | A survey of nearly 300 small businesses reveals widespread cost increase and description as a result of the new post-Brexit trade restrictions. Read more on 


What’s the Outlook for Key Food Commodities in 2021? | The Grocer

February 12, 2021 | From shipping to pricing, take a look at how key food commodities are expected to be affected by Brexit and the pandemic this year. Read more on 


Brexit Trade Arrangements Are ‘Unmitigated Disaster’, Food Industry Experts Say | Independent

February 12, 2021 | With disruptions shutting down businesses and food exports down by 50-60%, food industry experts paint a dire picture for MPs. Read more on 


Food Traders Say Brexit Impact 'Could Get Worse' | BBC News

February 11, 2021 | Scotland's food and drink industry is warning of price rises and potential shortages when new Brexit rules on imports, namely significantly stricter controls, come into force on 1 April. Read more on 


German Confectionery Exporters Lambast Post-Brexit Controls as Shipments Suffer | just food

February 8, 2021 | The post-Brexit customs arrangements have drawn sharp criticism from Germany’s confectionery makers, 30% of whom have experienced losses in exports since the start of 2021. Read more on 


UK Importers Brace for 'Disaster' as New Brexit Customs Checks Loom | The Guardian

February 7, 2021 | Although exporters have already been badly hit, KPMG says ‘biggest headaches’ have yet to come’ for importers from April onwards. Read more on


Brexit’s Impact on the Food & Drink Industry: Experts on Brexit | Burness Paull LLP

February 3, 2021 | Scotland Food and Drink’s Chief Executive, James Withers, provides insights into what effect Brexit may have on the British food and drink trade. Watch on YouTube 


6 Things the Food Sector Needs to Know About Brexit | Specialty Food

February 3, 2021 | Learn more about importing goods from the EU, exporting goods to the EU, new rules of origin, moving goods into Northern Ireland, Employing EU citizens, and travelling to the EU. Read more on 


UK Asks for Grace Period Extension for Northern Ireland Customs Checks | just food

February 3, 2021 | The UK has submitted a request to the European Commission asking for an extension until 2023. Read more on

EU Exit Perspectives: Rules of Origin - What’s the Big Deal?

January 29, 2021 | Rules of Origin are a complex set of requirements which have caught many food businesses off guard. Senior Policy Analyst Tom Forshaw dissects what the rules mean and why they matter. Read more on


Automation a Solution To 'Cliff-Edge' Brexit Delays | Food Manufacture

January 19, 2021 | Siemens Digital Logistics development consultant Phil Lavin and Digital Industries head of food and beverage Keith Thornhill discuss how automation technologies can be used to compensate for the delays caused by our ‘cliff-edge’ Brexit. Read more on


UK Government Updates Guidance on Health and Nutrition Claims | Food Matters

January 18, 2021 | Because the UK and EU are operating two separate legal and regulatory systems, the UK government has updated its health and nutrition claims guidance for food businesses. Read more on


Brexit Could Spark A Reengineering of Supply Chain in 6-9 Months | Food Manufacture

January 16, 2021 | The biggest challenges the food industry currently faces from Brexit include delays caused by the 'impenetrability of paperwork', the shortage of vets and customs officials and dealing with the island of Ireland. Read more on 


Having Left the EU, We Must Strive for a Greener Food and Farming System | The Soil Association

January 15, 2021 | Learn about the Soil Association’s take on food and farming beyond Brexit. Read more on 



Brexit Will Increase Food Supply Chain Costs, Warn Business Groups | BBC

January 14, 2021 | Brexit red tape is likely to increase food supply chain costs, the Food and Drink Federation has warned. Those costs will either be passed on to consumers or absorbed by retailers, the industry group said. Read more on 


‘Impenetrable’ Brexit Paperwork Hits Food Supply Chain | Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply

January 13, 2021 | The “impenetrability of the paperwork” following the end of the Brexit transition period is the biggest challenge faced by the food supply chain, MPs have been warned. A well-known firm reported a job that would usually take three hours to complete prior to 1 January had taken five days due to complex paperwork. Read more on 


Four Key Impacts of the Brexit Deal on UK Food & Drink | The Grocer

January 7, 2021 | The trade deal dodges punishing tariffs, but there are plenty of changes for the UK food industry to adapt to, including diverging food and safety standards, transport limitations, and the requirement of heat-treated pallets. Read more on 


General Mills Supply Chain Chief Talks COVID, Brexit and the Future of Food: ‘We have all the ingredients to make 2021 the year of the supply chain’ | Food Navigator

January 4, 2021 | Operations expert Victoria Cobos joined General Mills in early November, as the company grappled with the challenges of COVID-19 and the fast-approaching Brexit deadline. Learn what the Supply Chain Director’s priorities are moving into 2021–and how she plans to make it ‘the year of the supply chain’. Read more on 


Irish Government Announces 100 Million Brexit Scheme for Agri-Food Sector | Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

December 28, 2020 | The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine announced a new €100m Scheme for the food processing sector, in recognition of the sector’s unique exposure to the impact of Brexit. Read more on 


Brexit: EU and UK Publish Trade Agreement | Deutsche Welle

December 26, 2020 | The deal, concluded earlier this week, sees the UK leaving the bloc with unprecedented tariff-free access to the single market of 450 million consumers. The 1,246 page document can also be accessed via this article. Read more and view the agreement on 


How Will Food Manufacturers Ensure Food Safety Post-Brexit? | New Food Magazine

December 14, 2020 | In this opinion piece Paul Lerigo asks whether UK food manufacturers will continue to abide by existing food safety standards after Brexit. Read more on 


EU to Recognise UK Organic Certification until 2021: A ‘Huge Relief’ that Offers ‘Short-Term Certainty’

December 4, 2020 | The European Commission has said that it will recognise the six organic certification schemes operating in the UK for a year after Brexit. This averts the cliff-edge scenario facing British organic exporters if a future trade arrangement is not reached. Read more on 


Special EU Import Conditions for Composite Products | European Commission

Explore the EU’s new import laws for composite products, which will come into effect from April 21, 2021. Read more on 


Exporting Composite Products to the EU - New Health Certificates from 21 April, 2021 | UK FDEA

Explore the most recent documents and regulations.


Guides to Importing and Exporting Goods between Great Britain and the EU | UK Government

Information for traders on importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and the EU. Read more on


Your Easy Brexit Solution for Customs Clearance | Kuehne+Nagel

Check out Kuehne+Nagel’s unique, automated and digital data processing solution to make customs clearance a seamless experience and avoid any unnecessary delays, disruptions at the border or hampered deliveries. Read more on


Preparing Your Organic Business for Brexit | The Soil Association

Explore the Soil Association’s up-to-date synopsis of the status on organic labelling and the organic logo after Brexit. Read the full synopsis on


Food Labelling Standards from 1 Jan 2021 | UK Government

Dive into an extensive overview of the legal standards for labelling and composition of food products, such as flour, cocoa, coffee and oils. Read the full guidelines on  


Trade Tariffs from 1 January 2021 | UK Government

Look up commodity codes, duty and VAT rates. Start your search on 


Guidance on Organic Food Regulation | UK Government

Learn how organic food producers, sellers and importers must label organic food products. Explore key guidelines on 


Check Duties and Customs Procedures for Exporting Goods | UK Government

Find information about how to move goods from the UK to the rest of the world. Check rules and restrictions, tax and duty rates, and what exporting documents you need. Start your search now on 


The Border with the European Union: Importing and Exporting Goods | Border and Protocol Delivery Group

Understand the processes for moving goods between GB and the EU. Get a detailed overview of the border changes 


Imagery: (1) Emily Wang, (2) Jack Finnigan, (3) Rocco di Poppa, (4) Mick Haupt, (5) Heidi Fin and (6) Marcin Jozwiak via

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