Sheffield exporter Supplement Hub opens £500,000 Netherlands base to beat Brexit

A Sheffield supplements firm has spent £500,000 on a new base in the Netherlands to ensure it remains profitable ‘despite the challenges of Brexit’.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 1:19 pm

Supplement Hub has opened a warehouse and his hiring six people in the Netherlands after delays and customs charges became increasingly challenging.

It is one of several Sheffield exporters hit by Brexit, some of whom are investing in premises and jobs overseas.

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David Brassey founded Functional Nutrition in 2007 after struggling to find supplements for his patients. It became so successful that he launched Supplement Hub, selling to consumers, in 2019.

David Brassey founded Functional Nutrition in 2007 after struggling to find supplements for his patients. It became so successful that he launched Supplement Hub, selling to

consumers, in 2019.

The company is based in Totley.

Mr Brassey said: “The EU expansion of Supplement Hub heralds an exciting period of growth for Functional Nutrition and is a crucial part of our vision to see people live healthier, longer, and more enriched lives by taking greater responsibility for their own health and wellness through the use of natural healing methods.”

In February, Moon Climbing, which sells rock-climbing clothing and equipment, shifted some operations to the Netherlands due to ‘multiple difficulties’ and confusion over documentation, VAT and red tape. Boss Ben Moon said he expected it to become their main base to serve the EU and the rest of the world.

He recently told the Sunday Times that a typical £300 order to France used to cost £12 to send, now it’s often £100 or quite a bit more, he said.

Publisher Vertebrate Publishing is moving into e-books after Brexit pushed up freight costs because ‘lorries just don’t want to come to the UK’.

Boss Jon Barton also said Brexit meant books printed in the EU were taking seven weeks to turn around, up from four. And postage to the EU was £19 per book, up from £6, or £11

for heavier books.

Meanwhile, Andrew Klinkenberg, founder of board games start-up Teleporthole Games, said: “Brexit has all but done away with EU customers. I can ship to Australia cheaper than to Europe.”

More than a quarter of small firms say they are now considering moving some of their European operations out of Britain, while 16 per cent have already done so, Channel 4’s

Dispatches programme has reported.

It comes after the Office for Budget Responsibility, warned Brexit will cut GDP by four per cent, costing the UK economy £80bn a year.

A spokeswoman for Number 10 Downing Street said exports to the EU have been rising for most of 2021 and the latest figures show that they rose by a further 5.7 per cent in

September.

She added: “However, we’ve always been clear that being outside the single market and the customs union would mean changes and businesses would need to adapt to new

processes. That’s why we’re supporting businesses get the help they need, including through the Export Support Service which provides one-to-one advice. We have also delayed

the introduction of full border controls to give businesses more time to adjust.

“Given the impact of the global pandemic, which has affected trade and depressed demand, it is still too early to draw any firm conclusions on the long-term impacts of our new

trading relationship with the EU.”

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