Community Foods has been an active member of the UK and European trade organisations since its foundation and they have never been more important than today. Up and until November 1st 2020, the UK had two trade bodies representing the Dried Fruit and Nut sector, the TNA (The Nut Assoc.) and the NDFTA (the National Dried Fruit Trader Assoc.) which have now merged to form the NDFTA (Nut and Dried Fruit Trade Assoc.)
Here, Community Foods Managing Director Martin Rome, who is Vice Chair of the NDFTA, comments on the move:
“It had long been felt that since there were many companies that were members of both organisations and their fees and support were split, it would make good sense to merge. This view gained further support with Brexit on the horizon and the knowledge that much of the work that was being handled by a pan-European organisation based in Brussels would now have to be handled locally in the UK.
Under the Chair of Ellie Osman, the joint organisation represents all matters related to trade, such as tariffs, and standards like pesticide use. This is a significant task, particularly when the UK authorities have not had to handle these matters for many years. Through European and UK affiliations and expertise drawn from the membership of the NDFTA, many of the issues that we are currently facing are being discussed and solutions now being sought.
It is a very challenging time for many importers and distributors, particularly for those involved in trade with Northern Ireland. Duty rates and freight costs from south east Asia are also of great concern at this time, which confirms the importance of having a representative body such as the NDFTA. It has been a bit of shock to have to take responsibility for managing these issues rather than delegating to a European-based entity, however, it has brought the industry together and engendered a sense of togetherness many have not witnessed for decades.
We are in for an interesting time ahead.”
As well as Martin’s involvement as Vice Chair, Jamie Chambers, Community Foods Technical Director, is head of the technical committee.