Typhoo boss: Brexit is a grocery-wide export opportunity

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Brexit provides an export opportunity for the whole food and drink sector thanks to the strong reputation of British products, the boss of the UK’s second largest tea manufacturer has claimed.

In this exclusive interview, Typhoo Tea chief executive Somnath Saha said that despite the economic uncertainty, there were plenty of positives to come out of leaving the EU, and it was time for the country to move on.

His comments come in spite of Typhoo being severely impacted by the post-Brexit fall of the pound, which resulted in the cost of tea increasing by up to 50% in just 12 months.

Following disappointing financial results in November, the boss of the Wirral-based branded and own-label manufacturer claimed the value of the pound was “not sustainable” for his business.

More positive outlook

However, six months on, Saha offered a more positive outlook.

He said that following a “knee-jerk” reaction to Brexit, felt throughout the whole economy, industry was now more stable.

Saha added that English tea in particular was “very highly regarded, both in terms of quality and the taste”.

He claimed that most of the sector growth was in green tea, and that the company’s five-strong range of Organic Super Teas under the Heath & Heather brand had been “really well accepted in the market”.

Another is our Matcha Instant Green Tea [under the Lift brand], which is number one in the instant tea sector,” Saha added.

A sector hit by rising costs

To read more about how Saha is tackling the challenges of a sector hit by rising costs – part of our Big Interview series of profiles – order your copy of the April issue of Food Manufacture magazine.

Meanwhile, a leading food lawyer warned that food and drink manufacturers faced higher labour costs after Brexit, as fewer non-UK EU workers would be available.

Manufacturers’ costs could rise as they will have to rely on more agency staff after the UK leaves the EU, DWF partner Hannah Robbins told, in an exclusive video interview at the Food Manufacture Group’s Business Leaders’ Forum in January.

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