Brexit’s latest casualty? The mighty Mars Bar
In a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce this week, Mars' president of global food and drinks, Fiona Dawson, warned that the cost of trade barriers would unavoidably be passed on to consumers
14 March 2017
“Brexit means Brexit,” that’s what Theresa May said, and it seems she meant it. As the chaos continues, the casualties of the Brexit vote rack up: Scotland may vote to leave the UK, which in turn may leave Northern Ireland rudderless and anchor-free, causing a subsequent political shockwave here in the Republic.
That’s the outlook at the highest level, but the trickle-down effects are numerous also. The latest one that caught our eye this week was the warning from executives at Mars Foods that a “hard Brexit” would likely increase the price of its products, including the all-powerful Mars Bar.
In a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce this week, Mars’ president of global food and drinks, Fiona Dawson, warned that the cost of trade barriers would unavoidably be passed on to consumers. In other words, the UK departing the EU without a strong and complete trade deal would lead to higher prices and threaten jobs.
Experts say that Dawson’s comments are an attempt to shift the debate over Brexit’s commercial implications onto the food and drinks sectors, whereas up until now it has been focused on manufacturing and financial services. Mars Foods is a global giant which owns household name brands such as Skittles, Snickers, Uncle Ben’s, Whiskas and several more.
In Dawson’s speech, previewed by Sky News, the Mars exec says the return of trading barriers eliminated by the EU would “create higher costs which would threaten the supply chain and the jobs that come with it.”
WTO tarriffs would also likely be reintroduced, including a 30% hike on confectionery. “Unfortunately,” Dawson says, “there is no way those costs could be absorbed without flowing through to consumers in the form of higher prices.”
So then, more bad news from planet Brexit. And we’re still only at the start of it…