According to Tesco boss Ken Murphy, it has seen some disruption to food supplies in Northern Ireland since trading arrangements with the EU changed on 1 January. "We see this as a challenge at the moment, but not a crisis," he said, adding that the retailer was working closely with government on both sides of the Irish Sea to "smooth the flow".
Since 31 December, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that has stayed in the EU's single market for goods. Murphy said certain foodstuffs had faced supply chain disruption going into both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. "Ready meals have been the most affected as they have an eight-day shelf life so any wait is more likely to have an impact," he told the BBC. "Some processed meat and some citrus fruit has also been impacted, but it is important to stress that our availability in the Republic and Northern Ireland is strong and is very strong in the mainland UK."
Last week, all the major grocers wrote to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove asking him to take urgent action. But Tesco said its "comprehensive preparations and... strong relationships with suppliers" had allowed it to maintain strong levels of availability during the Brexit transition period.