‘It’s not champagne we’re selling here’

A Donegal businessman has expressed his dismay after been hit with high post-Brexit charges on goods bound for Glasgow.
Since the start of the year consumers have been asked to pay up to one-third extra in customs duties, VAT and additional delivery charges once they arrive in the UK.
“It’s unsustainable and the price will keep my UK customers away,” Mr Seamus McDaid, Managing Director, McDaid’s and Sons, Ramelton, said.
Earlier this week, McDaid’s shipped two cases of its famous Football Special soft drink to Athens and Bucharest cheaper then it cost a case to be sent to Glasgow.
“It can all be a bit abstract when you hear politicians talk about Brexit but here’s a real example of what impact Brexit has had on one Donegal business.
“I shipped a case of 12 bottle of Football Special to Athens and to Bucharest at a cost of €28.50 for each while the exact same case going to Glasgow cost me €39,” Mr McDaid said.
“Our shipping costs to Britain have increased from €19 per package to closer to €40 and we’ll just have to continue looking for more cost efficient ways to ship our products as the year progresses,” he added.
While there are higher charges when sending and receiving parcels to and from Britain, Brexit is having no effect on trade within the island of Ireland.
“Because they’re buying the product online the end user is paying for delivery. I don’t charge my buyers that price because it’s insane. No one would ever buy from me.
“We had been growing our online sales steadily and were sending ten cases a week to the UK. Those numbers slowed down a bit since Christmas but in the medium term people will just stop buying. The customer is now looking at having to pay up to €50 for 12 bottle of Football Special. We’re not selling champagne here,” Mr McDaid said.
The Football Special soft drink and McDaid’s other well-known flavours are predominately sold within the Irish market.
“Glasgow would be our biggest market outside Ireland and we looked to Britain as a natural fit to really grow our online craft soft drink sales. Since Covid, we had a couple of great months of online sales but that’s hit a wall now.”
He added: “That said, business is as good as it can be for anybody right now. We’re still able to trade and operate so we can’t complain. We survived last year like we have done every other year in our existence because the people of Donegal continue to buy the product. For that we say thank you,” he added.

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