Zotefoams Group CEO talks Brexit with the BBC

Zotefoams Group CEO David Stirling

It was a busy round of interviews this morning and an early start for Zotefoams Group CEO David Stirling this morning as he joined firstly BBC Radio 5’s Wake up to Money and an hour later Radio 4’s Today programme to discuss the impact of Brexit on trading with our customers in Europe.

In common with other UK exporters, Zotefoams has experienced a range of non-tariff-related teething troubles, including delays at ports, increased costs and confusion about the level of paperwork required. “We are pleased that a deal was reached, however there was a perception that this meant just a couple of extra forms to complete, which is not the case,” said David.

He also commented that it was particularly difficult during January to arrange deliveries, with hauliers from continental Europe preferring to return with empty trucks rather than risk delays of two to three days at the Channel ports.

“We’re fortunate that our goods aren’t perishable and that we are a global exporter, with systems and people already in place to handle the formalities,” said David, “but it is currently more difficult to export to Rouen in France than to Nagoya in Japan.”

The good news is that the situation is improving: we are working hard with our customers to ensure all the formalities are completed correctly, and delays are easing, albeit slowly, as Customs staff become familiar with the new requirements.

David also spoke about Zotefoams’ new plant in Poland, which has just commenced production; as this ramps up and the post-Brexit trading arrangements bed in, he believes that the supply options for Zotefoams customers in mainland Europe will be better than ever.

UK residents can catch up with the interviews via the BBC website or BBC Sounds app. Customers interested in attending the virtual opening of Zotefoams’ plant in Poland can sign up for our launch webinar here.