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Welcome to The Triple Whammy of 2021! Ruminations on Brexit, Covid and Climate Change

Welcome to The Triple Whammy of 2021! Ruminations on Brexit, Covid and Climate Change

January always brings a hard, drab start to the year. As the cheer of Christmas fades, this gloomy and wintry month of restraint seems to plod on forever while new year’s resolutions form, flounder and fail - well, at least mine often do! But with Covid still here and another lockdown upon us, this January is proving to be even harder than usual.
We ended the year here at The Farm with a busy few weeks. Christmas is always a hectic time for anybody working in food but the lack of clarity over Covid restrictions and Brexit arrangements brought additional work. Our Wholesale Manager and Finance Manager were extra busy making sure our dealings with European suppliers were all above board before Brexit hit. In addition, last minute announcements and Christmas holidays caused significant strain in organising the first deliveries of this year.

A lot of the new processes created by Brexit have to be followed by our suppliers and the transport companies they use. More processing means their prices have gone up, which means our costs will too. This is unavoidable. We’ve always known that Brexit would make trade harder, and that translates as higher costs, with or without additional tariffs. What is less clear is the exact increase, especially as small scale farmers and the rest of the chain are still figuring out this new system.

Our business model, the way we work, and the food we endeavour to source and provide does offer some protection. For instance, we always favour local food, gradually working our way further afield to match demand and offer variety. We pride ourselves on our short supply chains across the board, and enjoy close relationships with all of our suppliers. The way we work in mainland Europe is no exception. One of our European suppliers, for example, is a husband and wife team. We’ve learned that more processing for such a small team means a relatively larger increase in time and costs for them. It has been hard for them to adapt, but we will get there by working closely with them.

So: that’s Brexit and Covid. Our third horseman of the triple whammy also appeared at the beginning of January when unusual snow in Spain reminded us of how extreme weather - often linked to climate change - impacts food systems. Our suppliers have been warning of delays and possible non-delivery as a result.

2020 highlighted the fragility of global food systems built on long, just-in-time supply chains, fuelled by processing and packaging and devalued by commodity trading. We’re proud to provide an alternative and are determined to continue forging this better way forward that helps regenerate soil, provides for wildlife, and feeds people with healthy, whole foods.

My hope for 2021 is that all those customers who returned or joined us in 2020 will continue walking alongside us as we work towards a better, more resilient, local-centric food system.

Kim Brooks, Managing Director

Do we deliver to you?

We deliver to Bristol, Bath, Chew Valley, Weston-Super-Mare, Frome and plenty of places in-between!