Alison Lea-Wilson runs the Anglesey Sea Salt company, established 1996. Their Halen Môn salt has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) marque – it has to be made from water drawn from their specific geographical area around Brynsiencyn on Anglesey, and packed in the same location.
Alison explains the importance of the EU to her business:
“Before the referendum, we were exporting over 30% of our production. We decided to concentrate our limited resources on growing our UK business, so as we’ve grown the proportion has fallen, but we still export 25%, most of which goes to the EU. The EU is really important to us, not just for trade but for the PDO marque too.”
Anglesey Sea Salt also imports from the EU as well as exporting to it. They use imported wood chip and dust in their smokery as part of their British Retail Consortium (BRC) accredited supply chain. They also import spare parts for their (limited) machinery from the EU. Alison says:
“One of our worries is that our suppliers are going to be caught out. Our wood chip supplier can’t physically store any more materials.”
On preparing for Brexit and mitigating risks, the company has interrogated supply chains and tried to second guess any adverse effects on their business.
Help and support for food businesses in Wales
Food and drink businesses can access tailor-made self-assessment and advice. To request a diagnostic by the Cywain project, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
An advisor will then arrange a visit to complete the diagnostic. This will aid your business resilience and ensure that all your business areas are considered before Brexit.
On practical advice for other food businesses, Alison concludes:
“Look at your ingredients and packaging, don’t forget about your machinery. Check potential tariffs and labelling requirements. Make friends with hauliers.
We are members of the Food & Drink Federation (FDF) and Food & Drink Exporters Federation (FDEA). We also use Business Wales. There is a lot of information out there; it’s just having the time and inclination to look at it.”
Further information is available at:
Welsh Government: Preparing Wales
UK government: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA)