Confectionery firm goes vegan to avoid Brexit checks

After Brexit, confectioner Pecan Deluxe Candy soon found that British operations were suffering from a costly new bureaucracy in the export of animal products. His decision? Go vegan.

A US-owned firm that supplies food brands with sugary confections such as cake toppings and cookie dough has ditched butter and eggs in favor of plant-based alternatives that don’t require EU border checks.

In October, the bosses decided to phase out dairy at their facility in the northern English village of Sherburn-in-Elmet near Leeds to increase exports to their main market in Europe.

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“We decided to take action because … we weren’t going to just lie down and take it,” Graham Kingston, managing director of Pecan Delux Candy Europe, told AFP.

The UK withdrew from the European Union’s single market and customs union two years ago, forcing animal product exporters to file veterinary certificates and other costly paperwork.

Additional bureaucratic red tape has added to companies’ costs and time, further complicating supply chains.

However, these restrictions do not apply to vegan products. This makes transportation cheaper and more efficient.

“One of the biggest problems that has arisen is the implementation of border controls,” Kingston said.

These checks “stopped many shipments going through depending on the interpretation of the rules, causing a number of issues with products being returned to us that need to be destroyed.”

– New recipes –

The extra bureaucracy has cost the group over £100,000 ($123,450) over the last couple of years.

“The new lineup…has reduced those costs significantly,” he added.

“We no longer need to invite a veterinarian and sign them, and this allows us to have a very efficient supply chain for our customers in Europe.”

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Based in Dallas, Texas and with a factory in Thailand, Pecan Delux Candy is a family owned company with 600 employees worldwide producing the key ingredients for desserts such as brownies, brownies, brownies and more.

The company reformulated the recipes after European exports fell to 55 percent of total UK sales.

This compares to a whopping 84 percent before Brexit.

The new products are also cheaper to produce and are in line with current dietary trends.

“The plant-based range has some other benefits, such as lower prices, as well as being in line with a number of trends that are currently in place, not least veganism,” Kingston told AFP.

Pecan Deluxe Candy Europe has made the French port of Calais the sole point of entry into the EU.

Cancel Brexit? –

Asked how the pro-Brexit UK government could help struggling exporters, Kingston offered to cancel Brexit and provide direct assistance.

“I think returning to the EU would be a start in terms of helping us,” Kingston told AFP.

“I think just giving us exporters financial assistance where possible and also making the information available would help a lot.

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“Because everything we have was learned after Brexit. So we had to be very self-sufficient in the whole process.”