The summer has been looking great, so far. The sun is shining, England are winning at football and at cricket and Andy Murray is finally in winning form again; all is good with the world. We can all smile and raise a glass of cheer as we bask in the glory of these achievements and collectively pinch ourselves to see if we are dreaming.
I am sorry to be the one to wake you up from your reverie, but if you follow the world of Food and Drink then you will see the storm clouds gathering accompanied by an ominous rumble. Could this drum beat turn it into a summer to forget?
That glass of cheer may not be so easy to find soon, with a shortage of CO2 causing widespread problems with beer, fizzy drinks and much, much more. An improbable confluence of untimely events has conspired to deny the nation of its fizz, just as the summer was demanding more. Much more serious though is the effect this could have on our exports.
And if that weren’t enough to rock the nation on its heels, the EU has decided to open a new front in the tariff battle with the USA, using the Food and Drink sector as cannon fodder. Again, this could be particularly devastating for UK exports with the EU’s targeting of US bourbon likely to lead to reciprocal action against Scotch Whisky. Not only that, but the long suffering consumer will feel the blunt edge of this sledgehammer. May we yet need to set aside popcorn, for some home grown alternatives? Deny ourselves orange and cranberry juice? That may become necessary the as the 25% EU imposed tariff begins to bite.
Fortunately, there are many tasty snack alternatives to popcorn to choose from, including lower calorie options, so I am not worried that we are about to starve, or even struggle to find something to accompany our tipple of choice. It just might not be what we are used to reaching for.
Be brave my friends, Harry Kane may yet rescue us all before the rains set in. Gin and Vimto anyone?