Labour shortages are causing the UK meat industry to cut production and warn that it will soon be unable to meet orders unless the government relaxes post-Brexit immigration rules (The Financial Times £). Britain’s supermarkets could be forced to buy pigs in blankets from foreign suppliers this Christmas as the UK’s meat processing factories battle a severe shortage of workers (The Telegraph). The UK faces shortages of British-produced meat as problems with recruitment continue, the industry has warned (The BBC).
BrewDog has announced plans to launch an independent review into allegations of a “rotten culture” at the controversial Scottish brewer (The Times £). BrewDog’s co-founder and chief executive has promised staff a wide-ranging independent review after a group of ex-employees complained of a toxic culture that left a “substantial” number with mental illness (Sky News). James Watt said it would also conduct an anonymous staff survey to “paint a comprehensive picture of the Brewdog culture at every level” (The BBC).
Time to grow up for for the ‘punk’ upstart now worth more than $2bn, writes Sky News’ Paul Kelso. “It raises fundamental questions about the company’s culture, its treatment of staff - and whether the pursuit of rapid growth came at too high a price for those workers.” (Sky News)
British food and drink exports to the EU fell by £2bn in the first three months of 2021, with sales of dairy products plummeting by 90%, according to an analysis of HMRC data (The Guardian). UK 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 (The BBC). See The Grocer’s report on the figures here.
Whisky makers are raising a glass after the UK and US agreed to suspend retaliatory tariffs on goods including Scottish malts for five years, in the de-escalation of a transatlantic trade dispute stretching back almost two decades (The Guardian). A deal to resolve a trade dispute over aircraft subsidies for at least five years has been cheered by Scotch whisky producers who were slapped with tariffs under the row (Sky News).
Analysts at Bank of America are predicting that the cost of groceries will pick up over the summer, which may be bad news for shoppers but bodes well for the supermarkets — and their share prices. Its new favourite is Morrisons – it estimates that the group’s net debt will come down enough over the next six months or so to leave Morrisons “in a position to pay a special dividend again”. (The Times £)
Starbucks’ European business paid $183m in dividends to its US parent company despite incurring large losses as the coffee market suffered its first dip 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 football championships this week has left sponsors and tournament organisers scrambling to limit the damage on endorsement deals (The Financial Times £). UEFA has asked players to stop moving strategically placed sponsor drinks from Euro 2020 news conference platforms (Sky News). Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to remove two Coca-Cola bottles from view at a press conference, and dent the value of the fizzy drink maker’s sponsorship of the European Championship, has highlighted the risks brands face associating with sports stars made powerful by the social media era (The Guardian).
The UK has asked the European Union to extend the grace period on chilled meats being sent from Great 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 for biofuels, according to some of the world’s top traders. (The Financial Times £)
The dollar hit a two-month high against sterling and global equities came under pressure after policymakers at the Federal Reserve heightened expectations of interest rates rising within two years. (The Times £)