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M&S stores in Paris RUN OUT of sandwiches and other lunch items

M&S stores in Paris RUN OUT of sandwiches and other food as supermarket chain blames new trade rules for delaying delivery

  • Number of items were out of stock at three Paris branches of retailer today
  • Included turkey tortilla with curry and black rice and edamame bean salad
  • End of transition period means goods require extra checks when entering EU 

Marks & Spencer stores in Paris are experiencing a takeaway lunch shortage – which the retailer blames on delays to fresh food imports from the UK due to Brexit

The items out of stock at three Paris branches of the retailer today included sandwiches, turkey tortilla with curry and black rice and edamame bean salad, according to labels on the empty shelves. 

Despite Britain’s new trade deal with the EU, fresh food still needs to go through a number of checks when travelling into France from Britain, including including a safety examination to ensure it complies with the bloc’s rules. 

On the other hand, fresh food coming into Britain from the EU does not have to be checked thanks to a six-month embargo to ensure imports continue to flow smoothly. 

M&S ready-meals are popular in Paris because they cater for a market for fresh meals to eat on the go that is underserved in France, where sit-down lunches in restaurants are considered a national ritual.

What checks to fresh food imports need to go through when moving from Britain to France

Documentary – To ensure drivers have the right paperwork, such as an export health certificate stating that the food has been handled correctly; 

Identity – To ensure the goods the driver claims to have in the back of the lorry are the ones that are actually there; 

Physical checks – To ensure drivers comply with sanitary checks, and that everything is being kept at the right temperature and stored correctly. 

Source: Logistics UK 

The company and its franchise-holders operate 20 food stores in France, all but one of them in Paris.

At the M&S store in a shopping centre in the Porte Maillot district of western Paris, fresh salads were out of stock. 

A sign said that because of new trade rules, ‘we have not been able to receive our delivery today.’

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Fresh salads and pasta dishes were out of stock at a second store, on Franklin Roosevelt Avenue near the Champs Elysees.

At a third branch, on Boulevard Montmartre in central Paris, shelves of ready-to-eat fresh food were empty. An employee said the supply disruption was because of ‘Brexit and the New Year.’

A spokesman for Lagardere, the French firm which holds the franchise for some of the stores in France, said it was working with M&S on the supply disruptions and expected the problems to be fixed by the end of January. 

M&S said: ‘We have prepared for changes associated with Britain leaving the EU in order to minimise disruption for customers.’

‘As we are transitioning to the new processes, it is taking a little longer for some of our products to reach stores, but we are working with our partners, suppliers and relevant Government agencies and local authorities to quickly improve this.’

Despite Britain's new trade deal with the EU, fresh food still needs to go through a number of checks when travelling into France from Britain. Pictured are trucks rolling onto a ferry at the Port of Dover

Despite Britain’s new trade deal with the EU, fresh food still needs to go through a number of checks when travelling into France from Britain. Pictured are trucks rolling onto a ferry at the Port of Dover 

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