Mark Jones shares comments with The Independent and The Grocer on the food and drink industry’s Brexit plea

Wednesday 7th August 2019

Mark Jones, partner at Gordons and an expert in the food and drink supply chain, has been quoted in the national media and trade press reacting to the Food & Drink Federation’s (FDF’s) call to waive aspects of competition law in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Sharing his thoughts with The Independent, The Grocer and Just Food, Mark said: “I think there is little prospect of the Government relaxing competition laws to help retailers manage the supply chain. Whilst the Food & Drink Federation may be pushing for the relaxation, it would be a surprise if retailers or suppliers had a huge appetite to co-ordinate supplies in the wake of Brexit.

“The ‘big four’ control almost 70 per cent of the market and if any of them have a supply chain advantage post-Brexit, it offers them an opportunity to gain market share. I cannot see them wanting to help their competitors. They will want to help their own customers.

“As to suppliers, if they can sell the stock they have, they will, and they may well be able to make a better profit if supply is tight. If they cannot sell or use their raw materials, there is nothing stopping them picking up the phone to their competitors and selling raw materials now. Relaxing rules on anti-competitive behaviour is, in my view, unlikely to help shortages and I cannot see the Government going for it.”