- Title: French confectioner fights to save Christmas from the Brexit Grinch
- Date: 17th October 2019
- Summary: CLERMONT FERRAND, FRANCE (OCTOBER 15, 2019) (REUTERS) EMPLOYEE OF CRUZILLES GLACE FRUIT PRODUCER PUTTING SWEETS IN BOX BEFORE EXPORT TO BRITAIN VARIOUS OF EMPLOYEES ON PRODUCTION LINE PACKING BOXES EMPLOYEE CUTTING BLOCK OF SWEETS INTO CHUNKS EMPLOYEE SPLITTING OFF CHUNKS EMPLOYEE DOUSING SWEETS IN SUGAR THEN SHAKING OFF EXCESS VARIOUS OF WRAPPED SWEETS ON PRODUCTION LINE (SOUNDBITE) (French) CRUZILLES CEO, ROLAND GIBERT, SAYING: "Our business is very seasonal because we sell a lot at the end of the year and two thirds of our turnover comes from the last four months of the year, that's systematic. But this year is exceptional in that some of our British clients want to have their orders delivered before the famous October 31 deadline, which has increased our activity even more during the period from September to October." BOX OF GLACE FRUIT SOLD BY BRITISH DEPARTMENT STORE FORTNUM AND MASON, PROVIDED BY CRUZILLES LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (OCTOBER 16, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF FORTNUM AND MASON CLERMONT FERRAND, FRANCE (OCTOBER 15, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (French) CRUZILLES CEO, ROLAND GIBERT, SAYING: "Historically Britain has for years and years been our number one export market and it's also the market which probably has the best potential in the future but given this uncertain situation we have decided not to make Britain a priority either for 2019 or 2020." STACKS OF PACKAGED SWEETS BEING MOVED IN STOREROOM VARIOUS OF EMPLOYEES STACKING BOXES
- 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: LVA001B1HK6RR
- 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: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None