‘British companies aren’t as well prepared’

Tree growers recently shared their initial experience with the trade to the UK from 1 January 2021 via a webinar organised by The Dutch Nursery Stock and Perennials Association (LTO). There are questions about the British. To what extent were they ready? Sally Cullimore (HTA): “British companies aren’t as well prepared. Many people thought that everything would be solved by a deal.”

In the days leading up to 1 January 2021, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) played ‘serious games’ with exporters, reported Peter Verbaas on the 21st of January at a webinar about exporting to the United Kingdom organised by the Dutch Nursery Stock and Perennials Association (LTO).

Verbaas is Brexit coordinator with NVWA. The simulations demonstrated how complicated the trade with the UK has become for new players. “I’ve seen hardly any orders arrive at the ferry before the afternoon anymore”, said Verbaas.

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For those who are well prepared and those who are used to doing business with third countries, the trade deal is nothing new. But for anyone who might not be as well prepared or has no experience of trading with a third country, it’s a lot more challenging. And the latter applies to quite a few growers.

Pig heads

A problem that all exporters are experiencing is that British customers and the British government don’t seem to be ready; certain things remain unclear until the very last moment. Verbaas mentioned the media images of rotting pig heads in the Port of Rotterdam as an example. The media reports might have been exaggerated, but the image is symbolic for the fact that not everything has been running smoothly. It’s up to the companies to gain experience and to talk with their partners in the chain, according to Verbaas. And the NVWA is there to help as well. (..)

Click here to read the full article in Floribusiness magazine.

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