Supply chains to suffer as Brexit bites, warns Sainsbury’s CEO

Supply chains to suffer as Brexit bites, warns Sainsbury’s CEO
Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe

Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe has cautioned that strict customs controls ushered in after Brexit could leave food rotting at the British Border.

Speaking to the Press Association, Mr Coupe said that any disruptions to EU supply chains would be calamitous for both the UK’s retail sector and consumers.

He said: “The UK sources roughly a third of its food from the European Union and food is by far and away the UK’s largest export.

“If you take our fresh produce supply chains, for example, we put things on a lorry in Spain and it will arrive in a distribution centre somewhere in England, and it won’t have gone through any border checks.

“Anything that encumbers that has two effects: it adds cost, and it also has a detrimental effect on freshness – if you’re shipping fresh produce from a long distance, even a few hours of delay can make a material impact.”

To help counteract these potential effects, the retail boss will reduce costs and work alongside suppliers.