What’s the Economic Cost of Brexit? Pineapples Tell a Tale

SITTINGBOURNE, — Britain is increasingly grappling with the bewildering economic consequences of its pending departure from the European Union. For one company, Nim’s Fruit Crisps, the impact is measured in the soaring cost of pineapple.

Nim’s dries fruits into snacks served up like potato chips, operating out of a former metal shop in this industrial enclave east of London. One of its best-selling varieties uses pineapple from Costa Rica that is shipped in by an Amsterdam-based trading company.

The pineapple is priced in euros. Since Britain’s decision to leave the European Union — widely known as Brexit — the British pound has surrendered nearly 14 percent of its value against the euro on fears that trade will be disrupted.

Confronting higher prices for pineapple, the company’s founder, Nimisha Raja, recently brought in a machine to replace three workers who used to peel fruit by hand. “I had to cut costs somewhere,” she said.

She could be speaking for all of Britain.

In the 16 months since the referendum that set Brexit in motion, the British economy has weakened in the face of a confounding array of uncertainties. Thrift is the order of the day, along with worries about multinational companies’ paring their investments in Britain.

 

 

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