Theresa May has pulled the trigger on Article 50, marking the start of the two-year period in which we will negotiate the terms of our exit and transpose EU regulation into UK domestic law. Despite the abundance of negative speculation, it’s certainly not all doom and gloom for the catering industry!
Whilst there has been concern surrounding the future of trade for catering equipment suppliers and manufacturers post-Brexit, Theresa May outlined her intentions to ‘reinstate the UK as a global trading nation’ and pursue strong trade relationships both within the EU and beyond. Currently, 44% of our exports and 53% of our imports are from within the EU.
Mark Johnson, Managing Director of Johnson Reed, commented, “It’s important to see Brexit as an opportunity to broaden our horizons and recognise opportunities both within and beyond European Union countries. Business appetite is extremely robust in the catering industry, and we need to continue driving business forward rather than cautiously hindering progress and investment.”
This is a potential identified by several key players in the industry at CESA’s 2016 Heavy Equipment Forum;
Lincat’s Chris Jones described Brexit as, “A chance to win the hearts and minds of UK distributors and customers,” whilst Richard Brown of Glen Dimplex commented, “Made in Britain is going to be massive.”
Despite concerns that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit might deter businesses from investing in premises and equipment, many of the companies that took part in CESA’s 2016 Q4 Business Barometer were, in fact, reporting continued growth in sales.
— FoodserviceEquipment (@FEJournal) April 4, 2017
As for employment, Catering Insight’s Job Satisfaction Survey found the majority of equipment manufacturers are still feeling secure in their jobs, with over half describing themselves as ‘very confident’ in the security of their current role, and a further 35.17% falling into the ‘confident’ bracket.
In addition, CESA met with Brexit minister, Lord Bridges, last month to represent the industry, following the publication of the green paper, ‘Building Our Industrial Society.’ The discussions were reportedly a step in a positive direction, but CESA urges that anyone that wishes to voice their interest in trade with Europe to respond the government’s green paper directly by 17th April 2017.
— CESA (@CESAuk) March 15, 2017
“We introduced our loan division shortly after the result of June’s referendum as means of financial support for any businesses looking to protect cash flow where the future might seem uncertain.” Mark Johnson explains, “Whilst the catering industry is displaying positive growth, we’re always on hand to offer any further support or advice. In the meantime- it’s business as usual!”
What are your thoughts on the impact of Brexit on the catering industry? Comment below and let us know!