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Kopparberg to produce cider in the UK over Brexit fears

4:52 pm, 18th September 2018

The Swedish brewer plans to shore up its existing supply relationships with UK pubs and bars by beginning small-scale production in Britain, which could be increased in line with customer demand, according to an internal memo seen by the Press Association.

The move, which was finalised as early as May, was attributed to uncertainty around the Brexit negotiations, with companies voicing fears that a “no-deal” or hard exit from the EU could disrupt supply chains.

The British Retail Consortium said in July that failure to agree a deal could mean food “rotting at ports”.

Although Kopparberg cider is currently sold in more than 30,000 UK bars, it has never before been manufactured outside of Sweden.

It is unknown where the company will base its UK production or how many people it will seek to employ.

JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has previously said that Kopparberg had pledged to re-locate some of its production to Britain.

Mr Martin, a vocal Brexit supporter, has replaced a number of EU-made products from the Wetherspoons menu with British or non-EU options. However, Kopparberg has not been removed, despite being made in Sweden.

“Our biggest bottled cider supplier is the excellent Kopparberg of Sweden,” Mr Martin said in June.

He added: “Kopparberg has said that it will transfer production to the UK post-Brexit.”

The cider, which is known for its sweet taste and variety of flavours, originates from the Swedish town of Kopparberg, where the brewery dates back to 1882.

The firm was re-launched in 1994 by brothers Peter and Dan-Anders Bronsman.

Kopparberg refused to comment.