Sustain responds to Wetherspoon beer mat on food prices and fishing

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has issued a new beer mat accusing business leaders of misleading the public on expected food price hikes after Brexit. Sustain responds.






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The new Wetherspoon beermat says that MPs can eliminate tariffs and reduce food prices by leaving the European Union in March 2019. The beer mat also has information from campaiging group Fishing For Leave which states that when the UK leaves the EU in 2019, "Parliament can reclaim rights to the UK's historic fishing grounds, ending EU policies which have devastated many coastal communities." Half a million beer mats will be distributed in Wetherspoon's 893 pubs across the UK.

Kath Dalmeny, Chief Executive of the Sustain food and farming alliance, said:

“Wetherspoon's Chairman Tim Martin claims on a beer mat that ‘Big Business is fooling the public’. With 891 pubs, 37,000 staff, £51 million annual profit and a readership for its pub magazine of 2 million people, some might say Wetherspoon itself is Big Business.

“Food specialists and industry representatives are predicting price rises of up to 30%, tariffs of 40% on meat products, delays at ports and a shortage of fruit and vegetables. The truth is Tim doesn’t know what new trading partners like America might demand on tariffs but we DO know they’ve warned us to lower our food standards in exchange for a deal. Cheap food can come at a high price – threats to the livelihood of British farmers who won't be able to compete, poorly treated animals, chlorine-dipped chicken and higher costs to our NHS for diet-related disease.”

“Tim Martin says he wants to support the British fishing industry but we challenge him to go further and to help us build a Better Food Britain for everyone. We call on him to take endangered British scampi off the Wetherspoon's menu and to serve sustainably-caught British fish, which will support the UK fishing industry and protect our precious fish stocks for the future. We’d like to see Wetherspoon publish a full list of which fish it serves and where it is caught, and a fully sustainable fish buying policy.”


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Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.