“Black Christmas” faces Scottish food producers


Bulletin of Industry

According to an industry boss, Scottish food producers whose products are trapped in Kent are facing a “black Christmas,”

After France banned entry after a new, more contagious strain of the coronavirus was identified in the UK, thousands of trucks were stuck on the English Channel.

With the French government, an agreement was reached to allow the cargo to move through, with drivers being checked before crossing.

Food and Drink Federation Scotland (FDFS) chief executive David Thomson said, however, that the backlog would take days to clear, with some products spoiled by the wait, particularly seafood.

Motorists clash in Dover with police as lorries appear to be delayed

He told the BBC, “It’s been an absolutely disastrous few days for those exporting fresh and perishable goods, particularly seafood and salmon in Scotland, and it’s going to lead to a black Christmas for those companies.”

“For many people who supply the continent with perishable products, the agreement would come just too late.

“It’s now too late to reach customers before Christmas.”

Companies have told the FDFS that, Thomson said, losing the Christmas trade could mean the end of their business.

“We’ve heard from companies that say this is the last straw for them and they won’t be able to absorb the losses,”We have heard from firms that say this is the last straw for them and they will not be able to withstand the losses.

“People will have to pay farmers and fishermen, they will have to deal with consumers who have let them down, and in the run-up to Christmas, they will not make the money they will make for other food companies on the most profitable days of the year.

“Many, many companies are going to have a very difficult couple of days trying to figure out if they should continue.”

Facing export worries, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Tuesday that due to the delays, she had no concerns about food shortages in Scotland – a statement Mr. Thomson agreed with.

Addressing MSPs, she said, “We do not have immediate food supply concerns.” The stores are stocked well. There is, therefore, absolutely no need for someone to purchase more than they had expected.

Mr. Thomson reiterated the comment made by the First Minister, saying he was “not concerned in the short term,” but added that there might be delays in some out-of-season fresh vegetables, but the end of the border backlog would help relieve supply chain pressure.

As trucks begin moving again in Kent, Ms. Sturgeon called for priority to be given to perishable goods.

“Still waiting on details of the deal, but if freight starts moving tomorrow – which we must hope it will – the plan to prioritize perishables like seafood should be activated immediately.”Still waiting for the deal details, but if freight starts moving tomorrow – which we have to hope it will – the plan to prioritize perishables such as seafood should be activated immediately.

Mr Grant Gordon was the great-grand-son of William Grant, the founder of Glenfiddich.

Sandy Grant Gordon, patriarch of the whiskey distillery of Grant, died at the age of 899.

He is credited with sparking global demand for single malts, and has ensured that his signature whisky, selling more than a million cases a year, became the world’s biggest.

Sandy Grant Gordon, patriarch of William Grant & Sons Distillers and Scotland’s wealthiest man, died peacefully at home at the age of 89 after a lifetime in industry.

In the tax situation, the Scottish oil giant gets a major payout

In its long-running tax dispute with India this morning, Cairn Energy is toasting victory, sending the company’s share price soaring nearly 30 percent and paving the way for a heavy payout to investors.

With the culmination of a dispute with the Indian government dating back to 2014, the Edinburgh-based oil and gas company was paid $1.2 billion (£890 million) in compensation plus interest and costs.

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