Iceland, the frozen food retailer, has raised concerns about the mounting costs faced by British retailers due to new government regulations and post-Brexit border controls. The company argues that these measures are placing an undue financial burden on businesses and hindering their operations. According to a report in The Times, Iceland specifically pointed out the restrictions on promoting food items high in fat, sugar, and salt, as well as the proposed post-Brexit border controls, as major contributors to the rising costs.
One particular issue highlighted by Iceland is the upcoming packaging recycling scheme, set to be implemented in April of next year. The retailer estimates that this scheme alone will add a staggering £1.7 billion in costs for businesses. In response to these challenges, an Iceland spokeswoman voiced the company’s frustrations, stating, “The government is driving up costs… It is within [its] control to look at what individual departments are doing and pause, stop and rethink.” The spokeswoman emphasized the need for the government to take action rather than merely holding meetings, urging them to play a more proactive role in reducing costs and facilitating ease of doing business.
Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the government recently engaged in discussions with retail leaders to explore collaborative approaches in addressing the issue of rising food prices. This move reflects an attempt to forge stronger partnerships between the government and the retail sector, with the aim of finding practical solutions to alleviate the financial pressures faced by businesses.
As the retail landscape continues to evolve, it is crucial for the government to closely examine the impact of its policies on businesses, particularly in the wake of Brexit. By actively reassessing and revising regulations, the government can foster an environment that supports retailers, promotes growth, and ultimately benefits consumers.