JD Wetherspoon to replace EU imports with UK and US suppliers
British pub chain JD Wetherspoon has stated it will no longer sell drinks imported from the EU and will replace these with UK or US manufactured products.
Founder Tim Martin, a strong Brexit supporter, has stated this will form part of the company’s transition from products made in the EU. Italian prosecco and German beer are to be affected.
The chain currently sells around 2mn bottles of sparkling wine every year, the majority of which is prosecco, according to the BBC.
Prosecco will be replaced with UK or ‘new world’ products in the next two years, according to Miller, and champagne sales are to cease within a month. However, as the company currently sells just 100,000 bottles of champagne per year from just one supplier, Moēt & Chandon.
Currently, wheat beer and alcohol-free beer are sourced from Germany so these will now be changed to UK alternatives.
JD Wetherspoon has assured customers that the alternatives will not be more expensive for the consumer, with Miller stating: “There will be an inevitable transfer of trade post-Brexit to countries outside the EU, which will reduce prices in shops and pubs.”
He added: “We intend to honour existing contracts with EU supplier, some of which have several years to run. However, we are starting to make the transition to non-EU trade now.”
According to the Financial Times, Miller has previously argued that the EU’s customs union “imposes tariffs on the 93% of the world that is not in the EU, keeping prices high for UK consumers”.
He has also stated: “Ending tariffs will help minimise border inspection, and will benefit poorer countries in Africa and elsewhere, which are penalised by EU protectionism.” He has also denied claims that border controls will impact just-in-time supply chains.
JD Wetherspoon currently owns 880 pubs across the United Kingdom and serves around 2mn customers every week.
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