Netslé has warned that a no-deal Brexit would mean ‘major challenges’ for British industry, as fears grow of disruption to supplies of everyday goods.
Speaking exclusively to Yahoo Finance UK, a spokesman said there was ‘real concern’ at the company and across the food and drink sector over the consequences of Britain leaving without a deal.
Nestlé is the world’s biggest packaged food maker and is behind major household brands including Purina Petcare.
It comes as new research suggests almost one in five Brits is stockpiling food, drink and medicines in the run-up to Britain’s scheduled exit day of October 31, according to Yahoo Finance.
One customer concerned about supplies of Felix cat food had apparently asked Nestlé’s Purina on Twitter recently if he should stock up and if the company anticipated shortages.
A customer services agent replied from Purina UK’s official Twitter account that it ‘couldn’t hurt’ to have some additional supplies ‘at any time’.
“We’re working hard to ensure we’re as ready as we can be for Brexit so that pets can continue to enjoy the foods they love. It couldn’t hurt to have an extra box in the cupboard at any time, just in case your local store doesn’t have the stock!” Purina UK replied.
According to Yahoo Finance, Nestlé confirmed late last year that it had ramped up its stock in the UK to prepare for any disruptions to supply ahead of the previous March 29 deadline for Brexit.
Chief executive Ulf Mark Schneider said in December it had increased stockpiles in ‘key areas’ as a precaution, adding: “So if it should come to any delays or problems, we’ll remain able to serve British consumers.”
A UK spokesman told Yahoo Finance UK on Monday: “The prospect of leaving the European Union without a deal is a real concern for us and businesses like ours.
“There is no doubt that it would present major challenges for our industry and we want the UK to achieve a smooth withdrawal from the EU that maintains frictionless trade.”