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Many suppliers say their costs have surged as a result of changes to rules on labelling

Small food & drink brands are buckling under the weight of new Brexit bureaucracy since new export rules came into force on 1 January.

A host of suppliers have told The Grocer of their woes in dealing with the additional documents now required to send goods to the EU.

“It’s a huge add-on processing cost for a small business” said Superfood Bakery co-founder Tania Vynokurova. What was once a 10-15 minute turnaround now required the involvement of multiple team members and could take over an hour per package, she added.

“Multiple changes” had been made to labelling rules throughout December, before an organic equivalency agreement was made until the end of this year.

The business has also had to print stickers for its EU address, and must add them to each box until new packaging is made.

Similarly, fellow home baking brand Creative Nature has been forced to manually add EU address labels to its boxes. The brand’s owner Julianne Ponan said the new labels and documentation was time-consuming and costly. “It’s reduced the margins.”

Soupologie, which has facilities in the UK and Ireland, said it had been forced to discard some of its fresh soups as couriers were refusing to take on new EU shipments due to the hold ups at the border, and Soupologie had to guarantee retailers a certain shelf life.

Ingredient imports for small brands have been hit, too. Nim’s Fruit Crisps, for instance, was forced to turn to an Egyptian supplier of lemons rather than its usual Spanish supplier “due to problems at port”, said its founder Nimisha Raja.

“Then as the Christmas break got closer and no deal was announced, we decided that we would put all import and export on hold for the first 3-4 weeks of January because we would need time to get our heads around new documentation and procedures.”