- Title: French confectioner fights to save Christmas from the Brexit Grinch
- Date: 17th October 2019
- Summary: CALAIS, FRANCE (FILE - FEBRUARY 28, 2018) (REUTERS) TRUCKS AT BORDER IN FERRY TERMINAL SIGN MARKED (French/English): "EXIT / CUSTOMS / IMMIGRATION"
- Embargoed: 31st October 2019 08:37
- Keywords: France export candied fruit glace fruit Fortnum and Mason Brexit negotiations Brexit delay
- Location: CLERMONT FERRAND AND CALAIS, FRANCE / LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: CLERMONT FERRAND AND CALAIS, FRANCE / LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: France
- Topics: European Union,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002B1HK6RR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:PLEASE NOTE: THIS STORY HAS BEEN RESENT IN LIGHT OF THE START OF A BREXIT SUMMIT IN BRUSSELS
In central France, the production line at glacÃ©-fruit producer Cruzilles is working flat out to meet a glut of advanced orders from its number one export market: Britain.
The 130-year-old confectioner finds itself at the sharp end of a rush by British retailers to stockpile ahead of Christmas, with a divorce deal between Britain and the European Union still elusive barely two weeks before an October 31 deadline.
Chief Executive Roland Gibert, who counts London's up-market department store Fortnum & Mason among his British buyers, has hired extra staff to meet the unexpected spike in deliveries for its candied fruits, glazed chestnuts and fruit jellies.
Tight deadlines have meant unforeseen night shifts, stretching costs further.
Exports account for some 15 percent of Cruzilles's annual 9.5 million euros ($10.5 million) turnover. A third of those go to Britain.
With Brexit negotiations facing an unpredictable endgame, British retailers and their foreign suppliers have had to restructure operations in case of a chaotic no-deal outcome.
No deal would mean an end to frictionless trade between Britain and the EU, the world's largest free trade bloc, with the arrival of customs checks threatening to shatter just-in-time supply chains, clog ports and delay deliveries.
A survey by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) showed one in five British businesses are importing Christmas stock early to avoid possible border disruption.
Until now, Britain's membership of the single market has meant the paperwork for supplying Fortnum & Mason in London has been no more complex than delivering to high-end buyers such as Galeries Lafayette in Paris.
(Production: Regis Duvignau, Richard Lough, Johnny Cotton)
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None