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'I'm not afraid of no deal Brexit - it will help us' says produce firm boss

PUBLISHED: 16:43 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:02 09 September 2019

Owner of Norfolk in a Box, Lee Martin, is encouraging people to buy locally. Picture: Lee Martin

Owner of Norfolk in a Box, Lee Martin, is encouraging people to buy locally. Picture: Lee Martin

Archant

The owner of a Norfolk produce group is asking people to support local businesses, saying big companies and politicians are scaremongering over Brexit.

Lee Martin, owner of Norfolk in a Box, does not fear a no-deal Brexit and believes it will help local businesses and farmers.

The business based in Wereham employs nine local people and supplies produce to restaurants, hotels and coffee shops.

Asked if he was worried about a no deal Brexit, Mr Martin said: "Not at all, it's quite simple isn't it? Shop local, from local farmers and local producers.

"If people stopped using supermarkets, the prices would have to fall and supermarkets would have to go to the little growers for their produce.

"They're putting the little grower out of business."

Farmers in some sectors have expressed fears over food choice and shortages and to tariffs to export to the EU, which could place strain on their business.

But Mr Martin remains adamantly positive that leaving will be good for local farmers.

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Mr Martin said: "Our produce comes from Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Cambridge farms and we have produce come from non-EU places. We have apples from New Zealand, yam from Africa and bananas from Barbados. If we come out of the EU, all it will do is encourage more growers to do more, which will in turn employ more local people."

Norfolk in a Box has been running for 14 years and gets around 500 customers a week.

Mr Martin says leaving the EU will not stop trade.

The 45-year-old said: "If we stopped importing veg and fruit into the UK, all these growers are not going to just stop supplying to us, they want our business.

"We will get more customers because people will want to buy more local, people have had enough of Brexit and Brussels.

"Shop local it's as easy as that. I understand our vans and tyres are imported from Italy, but there is no way these suppliers are going to stop their business with us.

"I personally voted out, the EU has different rules to us, we're not all on the same level by being in the EU.

"All the big people in the top have made millions out of us being in the EU, it's all about looking after themselves. They ignore the little man.

"Buy local, support local businesses and forget the big man, who are scaremongering."

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