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The Marmite row is the first sign of the true cost of Brexit for food producers

By November 18, 2016January 29th, 2021For Business

Last month, Marmite managed to leave a nasty taste in the mouth for even those of us who like it. Unilever’s attempt to increase the price, allegedly in response to rising costs as a result of a Brexit-inspired falling pound, was fought off by plucky old Tesco. Critics pointed out that Unilever had also benefited from the falling pound because it exported so many of its products. The company backed down and Tesco won the day. Hurrah. The diehard Brexiteers were able to claim that the portents of doom around our leaving the EU were misplaced. It was buttered toast all round.

Except the Unilever story has managed to obscure the reality, which is this: when it comes to food, Brexit has utterly screwed us all.

Love or hate Marmite, the result of the Brexit-inspired falling pound is that we are, and will continue to be, at the mercy of the increasingly expensive imports. I’ve been assisting a number of clients review their contracts to make them ‘Brexit-proof’. I’ve been drafting express clauses to deal with potential financial hardship e.g. where a contract has become unprofitable due to the changes in exchange rates or even pre-empting Brexit (as Article 50 still hasn’t been invoked yet), and including a termination right on Brexit – where a contract is no longer needed after Brexit.  Every case needs to be considered invidually and if you are worried about the implications of Brexit on your business, then contact me. Otherwise, enjoy the toast and Marmite, and I wish you a good weekend.Helen TseEmail:  

David Jones

Author David Jones

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