The company, whose main UK base is in Port Sunlight in Wirral, says it was building up a stock of goods on both sides of the Channel in case the UK crashes out on March 29. Tony McDonough reports
Consumer products giant Unilever is stockpiling popular products such as Magnum ice cream bars and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream amid fears of a no-deal Brexit.
The company, whose main UK base is in Port Sunlight in Wirral, says it was building up a stock of goods on both sides of the Channel in case the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal on March 29.
Unilever’s ice cream products are made on the Continent while other popular products such as deodorants Sure and Lynx and Dove soap are produced here in the UK.
Chief executive Alan Jope said the consumer goods giant was holding a few weeks’ worth of extra stock in case of disruption to supply chains and was also was building up stocks of the materials used to package the goods.
He said: “We have built inventory on either side of the Channel. It’s weeks of inventory – not months or days.
“If I was in the designer handbag business then I might have built further cover but we’re not, we are in fast-moving consumer goods and one of the things we have learned is, when you build inventory, it can end up being the wrong mix of product.”
A number of large businesses have warned of the possible negative impact of a no-deal Brexit. Carmaker Jaguar Land Rover, which employs more than 4,000 people in Halewood in Merseyside, said there would be a shutdown at all its UK plants in April due to possible disruption caused by Brexit.
And planemaker Airbus, which employs around 6,000 people at a wing-making plant in Deeside, has issued a dire warning that a no-deal Brexit could see it depart the UK altogether.