In a blog published on the Danish Crown website, global sales director Lars Albertsen said the business is “well-prepared for Brexit, regardless of whether the UK and the EU agree on a deal, or it ends with a hard Brexit”.
“Danish Crown is well prepared for a no deal scenario, and the organization is geared to handle virtually any type of paperwork. In this area, Danish Crown already has extensive experience, as exports to Japan and China, for example, require quite a bit of administration. At the same time, an overview has been created of what logistical challenges Brexit can trigger, so that it can respond very quickly.”
He did warn that it is almost impossible to predict the economic consequences, since they will depend first and foremost on the price of the British pound and then the development in the world market for pork and beef.
Danish Crown exports pork meat to the UK annually for about DKK3bn and processed products from Danish Crown's subsidiaries for around DKK800m.
Albertsen also warned of repercussions from a no-deal situation but said the UK market would always need meat.
“In the worst case scenario, Danish Crown's total turnover may in future be subject to customs duties and higher logistics costs due to what are often referred to as technical barriers to trade.
“Britain imports between 30 and 40% of all the meat they eat, so they will have to continue to import large quantities of meat, so I'm not afraid the UK market is crumbling for us. What may strike us is if the pound falls so much in price that our goods become so expensive that the British cut down on the number of bacon sandwiches and their beloved bacon for breakfast.
“I am absolutely convinced that the British will continue to prefer Danish bacon, Irish beef and generally EU food, for the UK consumers and consumer organizations are significant when it comes to requirements such as animal welfare. Of course, that does not rule out the possibility of the British opening pork meat imports from the US or Brazil sometime in the future, but it is not just because of the two countries' high consumption of antibiotics and, not least, growth hormones.”