Tesco and Marks & Spencer have become the latest big names to reveal they are stockpiling packet and tinned foods as retailers’ no-deal preparations move up a gear now that the frenetic Christmas trading period is behind them.
The Tesco chief executive, Dave Lewis, said the supermarket has been holding a special round of talks with its suppliers and increasing stocks of long-life groceries. But, with Britain importing about half the fresh food it eats, Lewis said it was not possible to make similar arrangements for fresh food if Britain crashes out of the EU.
“We looked at the lifecycle and production of product categories that matter most to customers and sat down with all suppliers to discuss their production capability, where they hold stock and if we can help them hold it,” explained Lewis. “It’s not possible to do that sort of thing on fresh food, so that’s where the pinch point would be if there were to be a no-deal.”