Organic veg box seller Riverford has announced a two-week contingency plan that will come into place if the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal on 29 March.
The company’s flagship veg boxes, which usually benefit from European imports at that time of year due to the Hungry Gap period and low availability of British produce, will remain as UK-centric as possible.
Veg likely to be in the boxes over the period include cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, leeks and kale, as well as new season wet garlic. Other more storable items such as sweet potato will be used to help supply.
Box contents may also change at short notice as Riverford expects some disruption to occur in the short-term over the initial two-week period. “Should the no-deal scenario happen, Riverford is well placed in terms of supply,” said managing director, Rob Haward. “Roughly 80 per cent of the veg in our boxes is grown by us or by other organic farmers in the UK (though rather less during the Hungry Gap which usually starts in April). We will use it as an opportunity to champion traditional British produce, with recipes and inspiration to help customers appreciate the homegrown roots and greens available at this time of year.”
The news comes as today environment minister, Michael Gove, confirmed the government is expecting some delays to trade going through the busy Calais-Dover route.