The chief executive of one of Britain’s biggest food and drink businesses has warned that a vote to leave the EU could “decimate the British food industry”.
Ranjit Singh Boparan, the founder and boss of 2 Sisters, said that Brexit would result in job losses and put businesses at risk.
He said: “A vote to leave the EU has the potential to decimate the British food industry. It’s already a tough environment; highly labour intensive, high volume, producing very low cost products for low margins, and operating in a deflationary market.
“The additional challenges Brexit could create for my industry will put many businesses at risk and I don’t think that’s a risk worth taking.”
Boparan warned that British farmers and other food producers rely on the single market, which some Brexit backers have advocated leaving. He also said there was a risk that ingredients and packaging costs would increase.
2 Sisters, which owns the Fox’s Biscuits and Goodfella’s pizza brands, employs 23,000 across 45 sites in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands and Poland.
It supplies a third of all poultry consumed in the UK, earning Boparan the nickname “chicken king”.