To all our customers and partners,
It now looks very likely that the UK will begin 2021 without a trade agreement with the EU. We wish to reassure customers that we have been planning for this eventuality for some time. In fact, even in the event of a tariff-free trade agreement, we have felt that there is likely to be considerable disruption at our ports in any event, as a trade agreement doesn’t necessarily equate to free movement of goods.
How we’ve prepared for Brexit
Ash and Lacy’s business model is underpinned by the strength of its partnerships with a limited number of specialist suppliers for key materials. This gives us some flexibility on choice whilst ensuring the large volumes that we purchase give us priority when there are supply restrictions or even allocations. We have taken the opportunity to stock up on long lead-time items that could suffer delays at ports, and we have also secured allocations on some materials such as steel as far ahead as Q3 2021. This is unprecedented, and while we are seeing record prices being demanded, our priority has been to secure continuity of supply. All of our products are fabricated, formed or converted into finished goods within our UK based production facilities, which places us in a strong position to control our outputs
What you should prepare for post-Brexit
In addition to the widely reported logistical issues we must expect in post-Brexit Britain at least short term, we do anticipate some potentially significant raw material price rises from February 1. These increases will affect the whole industry, and we would advise customers to be very wary of committing to holding fixed prices in the long term. We are currently seeing price demands for some raw materials currently 30-40% higher than normal and will continue to communicate closely and clearly with our customers and supply chain as this complex situation develops.
Hopefully things will return to normal along with life in general, in 2021. In the meantime, we wish you a Happy Christmas and a pleasant break.
CEO & Chairman