COVID-19, Regulations, and Brexit Challenge Fresh Produce Companies
The world changed in 2019 when an unknown virus spread around the world. Today, in 2022, COVID-19 still affects almost all aspects of social and economic life, maybe more than ever before. The fresh produce industry is no exception, as companies once again have been and will be put under pressure to change and adapt.
COVID-19 related restrictions and measures imposed by national governments to facilitate the stop of the virus’ spread had severe consequences for the business operations of fresh produce companies. Think, for instance, of economic measures including lockdowns resulting in financial strains for many businesses as well as liquidity problems and making access to key sales markets more difficult. Access to supermarket supply chains seems to be ever important.
Furthermore, travel and entry restrictions triggered a shortage of labour, especially for seasonal work. As aircraft were grounded, some suppliers faced capacity challenges and especially fruit that rely on exports are in shorter supply. Hence, the fresh produce industry is confronted with limited mobility for both, workers and fruit. To make matters worse, the desirability of hygiene measures to protect the workforce has complicated and slowed production processes significantly.
For centuries, the fresh produce industry has been built on its ability to adapt, adopt, and change quickly. However, COVID-19 does not remain the only challenge to fresh produce businesses in 2022. The European Union has updated its list of fruit, seed, and parts of plants regulations which may require further adaptation. Moreover, Brexit continues. Britain will now require full custom declarations and the upfront payment of any applicable tariffs for any imports, complicating trading processes.
Keelings Knowledge is committed to helping your business grow in these truly challenging times. Contact us for more information or to see how we can optimise your processes and improve your results. Lean, efficient processes with great results might be more important than ever.