Suffolk brewer backs remain at Downing Street food fair

David Cameron hosts a 'Food is Great' reception to showcase the UK’s food and drink industry. There

David Cameron hosts a 'Food is Great' reception to showcase the UK’s food and drink industry. There will be food stalls from 13 selected suppliers set up in the state rooms and around 60 guests from the industry.The celebrity chef,Tom Kerridge has designed a menu from all the exhibitors produce. - Credit: Georgina Coupe, Crown Copyright

Two of the region's major businesses have heeded the prime minister's call to 'put their head about the parapet' and make the case for Britain to remain in the European Union.

David Cameron invited pro-European Union food producers to Number 10, including the boss of Adnams Andy Wood, who said it was 'hard-hitting economic reasons' which prompted the Suffolk brewer to abandon its usual policy of neutrality and publicly state its desire for Britain to remain in the European Union.

'For us it is all about the ease of doing business. As we develop that business it is apparent that it is more complicated exporting our type of product to countries that are not in the EU.

'One of the things that business really needs is continuity, and the risk associated with Brexit and what might happen to relationships with European partners and currency - these are things that concern us.'

He added that it was a matter for the British public, but from a trading perspective it looked as though it was going to be better for the brewer to stay within the EU.


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A Vote Leave spokesman said: 'Business opinion is divided on the EU. Despite Downing Street's best efforts to cajole, threaten and scare voters, the public are rejecting their campaign to do down the British economy and British businesses. If we vote leave food prices will drop, wages will go up and we can take back control of our borders.'

The marketing director of the major Cambridgeshire vegetable grower G's Fresh, which has farms across the region and in Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic, was also at the event.

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Anthony Gardiner said they needed the free movement of products, people and machinery throughout the EU for their business.

He said that while they would 'play on the cricket pitch we found ourselves on' if Britain voted to leave, it was currently as easy to sell into Bristol as it was to Berlin. He said that they only brought migrant workers into the region on a seasonal basis.

Prime minister David Cameron told producers he had brought them in to Downing Street to talk about the opportunity of staying in a reformed Europe, warning there was a real threat to the great British industry if voters opted to leave.

'In this referendum campaign people are desperate to hear from trusted third parties, they are desperate for facts and figures and real examples. I think food is something we all understand.'

He urged them to 'put their head above the parapet to make the argument', telling them that people wanted examples and facts and figures. Do you have a European Union referendum story? Email annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk

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