Buying clubs on Brexit watch

Many people across the island of Ireland are keeping a close eye on Brexit developments – and bulk buying club members are no exception.

Several groups based in the Republic currently source their deliveries from British wholefood cooperatives, importing without the slightest issue due to the two countries’ shared EU membership. However, in just five months, these small-scale arrangements could become untenable under a potential ‘No Deal Brexit’ bringing the return of tariffs and a range of import procedures.

Of course, many groups source from an Irish wholesaler and are not directly involved in importing. Nevertheless, they face many of the same uncertainties as their suppliers will still buy-in a sizeable proportion of stock from Britain, with more transported from Continental Europe over the ‘UK land bridge’. No-one can yet say what will happen to those arrangements from 29th March 2019.

In short, it’s a sensible time for many bulk buying clubs look out for a possible back-up plan through potential suppliers in Continental Europe that have little dependence on UK produce lines. There are potential challenges to this, such as language issues, as we discuss in our guide to operating a bulk buying club. However, any group is always stronger for having contingency plans in place for potential disruption.

About this site

This site aims to encourage and support the setting up of further bulk buying clubs and small food co-ops in Ireland by sharing the experience of individuals who have operated a ‘pop-up wholefoods’ model over a number of years.