Saturday 12 January 2019 10:24 am

Tesco and M&S reveal stockpiling amid concerns of a 'no deal' Brexit

Two of the UK’s biggest supermarkets have revealed they are stockpiling food in case of a “no deal” Brexit.

Both Tesco and Marks & Spencer have confirmed they are stockpiling long-life food such as packets and tins ahead of the UK leaving the EU on March 29.

M&S chief executive, Steve Rowe, admitted his company’s Brexit planning committee had “upped its ante” and had started to make a “few real choices”

“We have taken some additional long-life stuff but our food business is 70% fresh and anything that slows down will contribute to cost and waste,” Rowe said.

Meanwhile, Tesco has admitted to holding talks with suppliers as well as increasing stocks of long-life groceries, but stated it was not possible to make similar arrangements to stock up on fresh food should there be no Brexit deal, although half of the UK’s fresh food is imported.

“We looked at the lifecycle and production of product categories that matter most to customers and sat down with all suppliers to discuss their production capability, where they hold stock and if we can help them hold it,” said Tesco chief executive, Dave Lewis.

“It’s not possible to do that sort of thing on fresh food, so that’s where the pinch point would be if there were to be a no deal.”

It comes days after Sainsbury’s chief, Mike Coupe, said a no deal Brexit would be “hugely disruptive” because no supermarkets had the means to stockpile more than a few days’ worth of food.