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Brexit and Bidfood – October Edition

We’re just over a week away before the October 31st deadline, when the UK are due to exit the European Union. Bidfood now have final preparations in place which take into account the possibility of a no deal withdrawal. 


There are now a number of steps which will help to protect customers from potential stock issues, some are outlined below. Further information including the snapshot below can all be accessed at the bottom of this page.



The information below is taken from Jim Gouldie’s latest Customer Communication document…


Product Availability

Ambient, Frozen and long-life chilled products:

  • Stock building of identified products from Risk Assessments
  • Stock building of lead alternatives as substitutes for products at risk
  • Christmas Stock building ensuring key products are safe
  • Two extra warehouses are now housing contingency stocks
  • Working alongside other suppliers ensuring adequate levels of stock
  • Completed successful trials with EU and UK Customs representatives
  • 3 – months cover of stock – but an average of between two and 6 weeks’ on the basis of current sales activity.


Short-life Chilled Products

For short-life chilled and product products we will seek to divert ports, if necessary and appropriate, to other that are already experienced in dealing with imports from around the world. In addition Bidfood have implemented the following plans:

  • Increased stock holding of some chilled products where appropriate
  • Sourced UK alternatives where appropriate
  • Increased stock holding on alternative temperature-band products (e.g. frozen alternatives) where appropriate.


Longer life Categories and UK Sourced Products

This includes storable products with a shelf life between two weeks and a month; for example citrus products, root vegetables, apples, pears melons and squashes:

  • These products make up over 72% of our fresh produce range
  • Stock on all of these lines are being increased ahead of Brexit


Low Risk Perishable Products

This includes one to two weeks’ shelf life items for example hard salad lines such as peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and hearty leaf products:

  • These products account for around 22% of our fresh produce range
  • Products in this bracket can be harvested a few days earlier which allows for the possible delays at ports
  • Adjustments can be made to maturity and ripeness as the seasons progresses, taking into account growing conditions and travel time
  • Successful trials have been completed on extended-life packaging on some products which can be implemented at a few day’s notice


Perishable Produce

Items with up to a week’s shelf life such as leaf products, herbs and some berries:

  • These products account for around 6% of our fresh produce range
  • It is not possible to build stocks on perishable goods – therefore should delays at ports extend beyond 48 hours we will implement plans on a case by case basis – contact your account managers to discuss possible alternative sources or products (such as a frozen substitute).

It is also worth noting that we have already implemented many of these plans successfully back in March 2019. This was during the period of Industrial Actions at French ports for around four weeks, resulting in no interruption to deliveries to customers at the time.



As aforementioned this is just a short overview of a number of issues covered in the latest Bidfood Brexit communication document as of October 2019. Each of these documents are different and should be read in-depth for a clearing understanding of what could happen come 31st October.


More information can be found on the documents below we highly recommend reading at least one of these.


Preparing for Brexit – Aims & Approach


Planning for Brexit


Brexit Communication


Greetwell Purchasing Solutions will also be on-hand during this period and process if you have any further queries.