Labor shortages are forcing the UK meat industry to cut production and warn that it will soon be unable to fulfill orders unless the government relaxes post-Brexit immigration rules (The Financial Times £). UK supermarkets could be forced to buy pigs in blankets from overseas suppliers this Christmas as UK meat processing plants tackle a severe shortage of workers (The telegraph). UK faces shortage of UK-produced meat as recruitment issues persist, the industry has warned (BBC).
BrewDog has announced plans to launch an independent review of ‘rotten culture’ claims at the controversial Scottish brewer (The time £). The co-founder and CEO of BrewDog has promised staff a full-scale independent review after a group of former employees complained about a toxic culture that has left a “substantial” number of people with mental illness (Sky News). James Watt said he would also conduct an anonymous staff survey to “get a full picture of Brewdog culture at all levels” (BBC).
It’s time to grow up for the upstart “punk” who is now worth more than $ 2 billion, writes Sky News’s Paul Kelso. “This raises fundamental questions about the culture of the company, its treatment of people – and whether the pursuit of rapid growth has cost these workers too much.” (Sky News)
UK food and drink exports to the EU fell by £ 2 billion in the first three months of 2021, with dairy sales plummeting 90%, according to analysis of HMRC data (The Guardian). British food and drink exports to the European Union almost halved in the first three months of the year, compared to the same period in 2020 (BBC). See The Grocer’s report on the numbers here.
Whiskey makers raise their glasses after UK and US agree to suspend retaliatory tariffs on products, including Scotch malts, for five years as part of de-escalation of trade dispute transatlantic going back almost two decades (The Guardian). A deal to resolve a trade dispute over aircraft subsidies for at least five years has been applauded by Scotch whiskey producers who have been hit with tariffs under the line (Sky News).
Bank of America analysts predict the cost of groceries will rise over the summer, which may be bad news for shoppers, but bodes well for supermarkets – and their stock prices. His new favorite is Morrisons – he estimates the group’s net debt will decline enough over the next six months or so to leave Morrisons “in a position to pay a special dividend again.” (Time £)
The European Starbucks company paid out $ 183 million in dividends to its US parent company despite large losses as the coffee market suffered its first decline in growth in two decades during the coronavirus pandemic. (The Financial Times £)
Cristiano Ronaldo’s rejection of strategically placed Coca-Cola bottles at a press conference at the Euro 2020 soccer championships this week has left sponsors and tournament organizers scrambling to limit damage to sponsorship deals (The Financial Times £). UEFA has asked players to stop moving strategically placed sponsor drinks from Euro 2020 press conference platforms (Sky News). Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to remove two bottles of Coca-Cola from sight at a press conference, and to reduce the value of the sponsorship of the European Championship soft drink maker, highlighted the risks to which brands are confronted by partnering with sports stars made powerful by the age of social media (The Guardian).
The UK has asked the EU to extend the grace period for chilled meats sent from Britain to Northern Ireland. (Sky News)
Agricultural commodities are at the start of a “mini-supercycle” with prices expected to be boosted for several years by demand from China and biofuels, according to some of the world’s largest traders. (The Financial Times £)
The dollar hit a two-month high against the British pound and global stocks came under pressure after Federal Reserve policymakers raised expectations of an interest rate hike within two years. (The time £)