Brexit has been making life tough for Devon producers according to the Vice Chair of Food Drink Devon Mike Young.

Speaking at the launch of the South Devon Food Hub he told us that exporters were hardest hit: ‘‘It’s much more difficult, there is much more paperwork to do, it slows down the supply chain and also if they need products from abroad it delays that as well.

‘‘With those additional costs comes an additional burden on the producer and the supplier.

Mike said: ‘‘The biggest challenge is increasing prices with food inflation even higher than the headline rate so the raw materials are a difficult area, labour costs are going up and energy costs are also.

‘‘There has been a dip in energy prices for the consumer but not really for businesses.

‘‘It means that probably all of our members have got to increase their prices to absorb some of those increases.

‘‘They’ve got to do that to survive. We understand that and hopefully the consumers will understand that as well.

The producers make excellent products and I think people are prepared to pay a little bit more.’’

Food Drink Devon is a membership organisation which has been going for more than 20 years. They have around 350 members which are businesses throughout Devon and their ethos is supporting good quality sustainable product selling to locals, visitors, people outside the county and internationally.

Mike said there’s plenty going on: ‘‘We’ve got our awards in October which showcases the best in Devon,

We have lots of events where we do networking, supporting our members and we also do events in London to make sure people know about us, we did one for Parliament in the spring, one of the local MPs invited us up and we took some really good product there.

‘‘We do stuff with the international media to make sure people come, stay in Devon and enjoy the wonderful food and drink.

Mike himself is an accountant in Newton Abbot and Exeter but has been involved with Food Drink Devon for many years. I deal with all the finance and we’ve seen it grow from what essentially was in the South Hams with about 30 members when I first started and we just keep growing.

‘’We are very very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country and have great produce.’’