Danish food industry braces itself for a ‘Hard Brexit’

The Danish agricultural and food sectors are already totting up the potential cost of Brexit and taking steps to find alternative markets

If the UK crashes out of the EU in a ‘Hard Brexit’ – which is becoming increasingly likely, but is by no means the most likely outcome … yet – it will have a big impact on Danish exports.

New trading alliances will have to be forged and, according to a report compiled by Copenhagen Economics for the Ministry of the Environment and Food, companies in the food sector are positive about the idea.

READ ALSO: Danish firms setting up shop in UK to avoid possible Brexit tariffs

In the event of a ‘Hard Brexit’, it is likely there would be tariffs of 30-40 percent on butter and spreads and 25 percent on pork. The report estimates the food industry and related industries in Denmark could lose exports to the tune of 17 billion kroner.

Look east, young farmer
“Companies want new trade deals and promotion in attractive markets,” said the environment and food minister, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen.

“I’m going to continue the efforts the government has made to open up new markets and open the world’s eyes to good Danish food. Among other things we have actually been doing this through a number of export drives,” he added.

It is especially the dairy, pork, and fish and shellfish sectors that will be heaviest hit.

“The report is not a complete ‘Doomsday scenario’ because there are growing markets that can match the UK prices. It could be countries such as China, Hong Kong and Japan for dairy produce, and South Korea and Australia for pork,” suggested Ellemann-Jensen.

The UK imports 24 percent of its foodstuffs, and 71 percent of them come from other EU countries.