NEWS / Brexit

Sustain slams Wetherspoons Chairman's claims on cheap food post-Brexit

Sustain questions Wetherspoon Chairman Tim Martin's opinion that food prices will fall after Brexit, and argues that - in any case - cheap food would come at a cost - to food quality, British jobs and British farmers.

At time of publication, Wetherspoons' Chairman Tim Martin had yet to publish his 'open' letter in response to a customer who didn't like his Brexit beermats.

But Sustain has seen a copy of it, and Mr Martin uses the customer's complaint about politicising the pub with the beermats to rehash his arguments about Brexit providing an opportunity to lower food prices.

Sustain CEO Kath Dalmeny recently challenged Mr Martin on this point as they both gave evidence before Parliament's Environment and Rural Afffairs Select Committee. You'll find the full testimony here. If you don't have time to read it in full, here's Kath's response to his latest claims:

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

“Predicting post-Brexit food prices is tricky and needs to include things like tariffs, which Mr Martin references and things like world commodity prices and currency fluctuations, which he doesn’t.  He also admitted recently that even if there were lower food prices, these could result in higher profits for retailers, rather than being passed on to the consumer.

“Mr Martin also fails to acknowledge that flooding our domestic market with cheap imports from places like the United States will put British jobs and British farming at risk. There are no food provenance labelling rules for restaurants at the moment, so Wetherspoons customers simply won’t know if they are eating American chicken with a higher risk of Salmonella poisoning produced to lower animal welfare standards and irresponsible levels of antibiotics. Cheap food comes at a cost.”



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Brexit: We stand at a cross-roads. When the UK leaves the European Union, will our leaders uphold good standards for our food, farming, fishing and trade deals? And will they agree a sensible deal with the EU? We need to make sure that they do!



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.