Bord Bia conducts ‘action plan’ in response to Sainsbury’s/Asda merger

Bord Bia is carrying out an “immediate action plan” on the potential impact of the planned merger between top UK supermarket chains Sainsbury’s and Asda on the Irish agri-food sector.

Yesterday, Sainsbury’s confirmed that it has agreed terms of a £12 billion (€13.6 billion) merger with Asda – owned by US supermarket giant Walmart – in a daring move to overtake Tesco as Britain’s largest supermarket group.

However, concerns are mounting over the potential impact of the merger on the Irish agri-food sector and local suppliers.

In a statement Bord Bia confirmed that the food board has taken an “immediate response” to the development.

“An action plan has been put in place following the announcement of the merger of Sainsbury’s and Asda. Bord Bia’s London office has been following up with the main Irish suppliers affected by the merger.

“In addition, Bord Bia, with support from a number of UK-based retail experts, is set to develop a comprehensive risk and opportunity analysis report on behalf of the industry,” the statement outlines.

We believe each Irish exporter affected by the announcement will require bespoke advice as no two situations will be the same.

“To that end, we are offering one-to-one guidance and support to companies, whereby we can discuss their particular situation and potential exposure.

Bord Bia will work with each company to mitigate any potential risk and explore all potential opportunities.

It is envisaged that the significant merger will create one of the UK’s leading grocery, general merchandise and clothing retail groups, with combined revenues of £51 billion (€58 billion) for 2017.