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22 December 2016

News Not Good for Christmas Pud

Cost of Ingredients Skyrockets Following EU Vote

Christmas pudding aficionados face the price of their favourite festive dessert rising sharply this Christmas in the wake of Britain voting to leave the EU.

A slump in the pound is behind the increased cost of Christmas pudding since many key ingredients such as dried fruit, spices, sugar and brandy are imported from abroad.

According to Mintec, the principal independent source of global pricing information for commodities and raw materials, the costs of Christmas pudding ingredients have risen by 21 per cent in 2016.

A Rabobank report looking at the impact of Brexit on beverage producers also noted the impact of a devalued British pound on drinks imports, such as port and brandy, and uncertainty over trade barriers creating an “overall negative effect” on the industry – further driving up prices.

Citrus peel and zest are key components in Christmas pudding recipes and experts suggest that the UK could face higher tariffs on oranges and lemons outside of the EU. Festive flavourings such as cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice could also see additional charges levied on imports.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“For me there’s no greater treat at this time of year than a Christmas pudding and the troubling news that costs have skyrocketed in the wake of the EU referendum underlines a serious point.

“The fact that a Tory hard Brexit could potentially land households with higher bills for food and drink matters greatly. And we’re now six months on from the vote without the slightest idea what Brexit means. That creates uncertainty which is bad news for business and, in turn, for consumers.

“And with so many festive treats sharing the same key ingredients, it’s likely they’ll be hit with similar price rises – so that includes Christmas cake, mince pies and the Hogmanay favourite, black bun.

“The folk who will pay the biggest price for Tory recklessness over the EU are those already bearing the brunt of Tory austerity – it’s ordinary, hardworking people expected to put Christmas dinner on the table for their families despite the squeeze on household budgets.”
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