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more and more Irish firms switching suppliers from the UK to the EU to avoid Brexit created paperwork.

Could the trend also extend to Northern Irish firms and businesses?

After all, it could be beneficial to Tesco and other British retailers in Belfast to source Spanish olive oil and Italian wines through Rosslare rather than Liverpool, especially if their competitors like Aldi or Lidl are doing it...

by Bernard on Tue Feb 16th, 2021 at 07:33:00 PM EST
What I read on another forum is that the UK chains in NI really struggle with fresh produce, while Lidl and Eurospar seem to be doing fine.

No pak choi or coriander but hey, why not try a delicious turnip from our new expanded turnip section?

by generic on Tue Feb 16th, 2021 at 08:15:53 PM EST
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Tesco has a huge distribution centre in Ireland (just north of Dublin) so they should be able to source produce within the EU without difficulty. This may take a while if they have a lot of current contracts with UK suppliers.

I suspect Sterling devaluation will also help to keep UK suppliers competitive in future. So far disruption at Irish ports has been minimal, so I doubt their buying patterns have changed much. The paperwork shouldn't be a problem for the large chains with large back-office staffs. However the UK may have difficulty harvesting fresh produce this summer if they can't attract Romanian pickers as usual.

Price, quality and availability will be the main determinants of product sourcing, but the paperwork burden will be proportionately much higher for the smaller players. If the EU/UK political scene turns nasty, you could also have "Buy EU" Marketing campaigns getting traction. Ireland used to run "Buy Irish" campaigns prior to EU membership.

Tesco has always had a very British image and imagery and I can see nationalists, north and south, but particularly in the north, boycotting it. Lidl has been gaining market share in any case, as has Aldi in the south, but it hasn't opened any outlets in the North yet.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 16th, 2021 at 08:53:10 PM EST
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