Worcestershire Business Central Helps Businesses to Access Information and Prepare for Brexit

A Worcestershire based business has highlighted the support that has been provided to the company from Worcestershire Business Central in finding sources of information on how to prepare and to understand some of the key issues the company will need to consider pre/post Brexit.

Ferryfast was primarily set up to market the finest home grown produce and has since developed into a major force within the industry. As dedicated International produce suppliers, based in the Midlands, Ferryfast are experienced in marketing and distributing fresh, seasonal produce from around the globe.

The procurement department source produce from a base of trusted growers throughout the UK and also import from many countries to meet their customers` demand. The knowledgeable team work very closely with growers locally and worldwide, to ensure they provide accurate information on all lines and supply customers with a wide range of delicious produce, grown to the highest standard.

Brexit has been the main barrier to growth for the business – exchange rate has hit the business hard. In order to offset fluctuations in exchange rates the company does forward buy Euros. 40% of the company’s workforce is from Europe, migration and the right to remain in the UK is of concern.

Peter Osborne, Managing Director, said: “Our HR team worked with many of our eastern European staff members regarding their permanent status in the UK. We are also buying currency on forward contracts to hopefully alleviate any currency swings on produce we import and freight costs.”

Working with Randesh Kalar, Business Engagement Manager at Worcestershire Business Central, Rob Bowers from the company has seen real benefit from the information provided by Randesh and referrals made to the Get Ready for Brexit page on the Growth Hub website. He has also pre-ordered the “International Trade Preparation Essentials Guide” produced by Worcestershire Business Central, the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce in association with Strong & Herd.

Rob said: “Randesh from Worcestershire Business Central has made us aware of the information and support available in relation to the Get Ready for Brexit page on the WBC website, the training workshops form the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and we have also pre-ordered the “International Trade Preparation Essentials Guide” that has been produced jointly by WBC and the Chamber of Commerce. While it is uncertain times, the information is proving useful and we will look to Randesh to continue to provide us with business support post 31 October.”

Worcestershire Business Central is working closely with its partner organisations to engage with as many companies as possible in the County to ensure they are aware of the information and support available regarding Brexit. These partners include the LEP, Worcestershire County Council, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, DIT and the six District Councils in the County.

Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Working with the Worcestershire Growth Hub, plans are in place to ramp up the support for businesses in the County through a planned increase in the number of advisors on the ground.

“This is part of a co-ordinated strategy with partner organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce who in partnership with the Growth Hub have produced a “International Trade Preparation Essentials Guide” that is to be sent to 3,000 companies in the County.”

Sharon Smith, Chief Executive, Hereford & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: “International Trade Preparation Essentials Guide” is part of a joint strategy with the Growth Hub to ensure companies have the facts they need to prepare for pre/post Brexit.”

With its close ties to Government as well as private and public sector organisation, the WLEP Growth Hub is ideally placed to support businesses across Worcestershire with information about the support on offer.

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