UK food and drink manufacturers are feeling the pinch of Brexit uncertainty but are striding ahead with investment plans to boost productivity, automation and new product development, according to new research published by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP.
UK food and drink manufacturers are feeling the pinch of Brexit uncertainty but are striding ahead with investment plans to boost productivity, automation and new product development, according to new research published today by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP.
BDO’s Food and Drink Report 2018 found that 60% of manufacturers surveyed are generally positive about the future of the industry, with three quarters (76%) expecting revenue growth and 67% believing order levels will increase in the next year.
However, looking back over the last three years, confidence among UK food and drink manufacturers has fallen 20% and it is Brexit uncertainty which is posing the biggest threat to businesses for the year ahead.
According to the BDO report, concerns over skills gaps and labour are still a major concern to the industry and the UK’s relationship with the EU is only adding to the worry for business leaders.
Less than a quarter (24%) of respondents believe the Government can negotiate a favourable post-Brexit environment for the industry and only 2% think Brexit will have a positive impact on their business in the next year.
Paul Davies, head of food and drink at BDO, explains: “Food and drink businesses are heavily reliant on overseas labour, with one in three workers being from the EU. The majority of firms we’ve spoken to believe that Brexit is likely to have a negative impact on attracting labour and skills in the future, and naturally that’s becoming a growing concern for them.
“It is crucial the government provides some clarity over our EU exit quickly and further supports an industry that is a huge driving force for our economy.”