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Cityserve - October Brexit Update

Published: Monday, 7th October 2019

The Cityserve procurement team sources around £10m in food annually.

Its main customers are c.200 schools, civic catering and three BCC social care homes. Cityserve is also a key City Council disaster recovery partner. Largely due to storage restrictions, logistics management and perishability, clients receive frequent – generally twice weekly food deliveries via several procured suppliers; we rely upon suppliers’ expertise in sourcing, holding and distribution; as such Cityserve isn’t currently considering stockpiling and is deferring to supplier expertise.

Ambient and Frozen Contracts

Both of our critical suppliers (60%> spend) have Cross Functional Brexit working groups that have undertaken their own supply chain risk assessment in the event of a no deal departure. They have both increased their stock holding in the UK, with a focus on ensuring continuity of their top selling lines (and or securing alternatives where necessary – products and or suppliers). Logistics have been addressed in terms of the potential use of alternative ports and updates regarding Operation Brock. Neither supplier has identified any potential risk within their own business in terms of workforce as both have low % EU national employees. To support their Brexit planning further both food service companies have increased their warehouse capacity by securing additional 3rd party storage. Despite the additional challenges around Christmas trading and fresh produce Brakes in particular maintain confidence levels that they are prepared for a hard exit on 31st October 2019 (should this be the case).

HALAL Meat, Milk and Morning Goods

Both suppliers have confirmed that given their entire supplier base is UK sourced they anticipate little to no logistical impact on their ability to deliver our contracts. Supply and demand risks exist with regard to the sufficiency/availability of UK livestock and potential exists for affordability pressures related to increased demand.

Fresh Fruit and Veg

The supplier has confirmed that as always they look to source as much as possible from a UK supply base. Where this is not possible they have identified potential alternative ports and routes to import (e.g. Eurotunnel). They have also obtained their EROI and TSP numbers in advance to support the customs clearance process. The supplier maintains they do not envisage any disruption to their ability to supply during or post Brexit. Again, supply and demand risks exist with regard to the sufficiency/availability of UK fresh produce and potential exists for affordability pressures related to increased demand.

All suppliers continue to monitor the situation carefully and are and have been implementing all available strategies to mitigate any risk associated with Brexit, deal or no deal. Cityserve will proactively implement alternative menu options depending upon any supply-line impacted with a view to maintaining the appropriate prescribed minimum standards are far as practically possible.