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12th November 2020


Photo shows: Ann Clay; Ian Clay; James Clay; Nicola Boon (née Clay) – George and Jack

Over one million bottles of beer in stock

James Clay and Sons, the family owned importer and distributor of the world’s greatest beers, has secured its EU Supply Chain with the acquisition of Rarter Bond Ltd. as part of its Brexit Preparedness strategy. This will:

  • Increase James Clay and Sons’ capacity to stock-build ahead of the likely supply chain disruption
  • Allow the business to ‘clear’ imported stock into the UK in-house
  • Provide more space to invest in stock holding to ensure strong availability at the start of 2021
  • Ensure that the supply of the world’s greatest beers can continue uninterrupted into the UK

Rarter Bond is a specialist excise bond company operating out of a 100,000 sq ft facility at Leeds Bradford Airport. The business has managed James Clay And Sons’ non-EU imports for many years and is perfectly positioned to support their EU imports as well, as Britain starts a new chapter outside of the EU Customs Union.

Rarter Bond will also strengthen James Clay and Sons’ customs and excise capabilities and provide the platform to invest in the customs software required to clear goods into the UK with HMRC, at the end of the transition period. Ensuring these systems are in-house will provide the best control and lowest additional costs in the long term.

James Clay and Sons MD, James Clay, comments:

“Our Brexit stock build goal is to hold an additional four to six weeks’ worth of stock for all key lines, over one million bottles of beer, no mean feat as we hold the largest range of beers in the UK.

“Brexit will undoubtably place severe stress on supply chains in the UK. In the short-term, delays are expected at ports; and hauliers anticipate lorries being limited to one round trip to Europe per week – not the current two. Alongside maintaining a strong working relationship with our haulier to mitigate this, Rarter Bond will provide extensive storage capacity for Brexit stock building, which began in early November.

“Our overseas brewery partners are being immensely supportive in our challenge to ensure consistent availability over the next six months by brewing additional beer to cover our Brexit stock build, by adjusting their paperwork processes or by making changes to labelling.

“Like everything to do with Brexit, we are likely to face some more unforeseen twists and turns, however I hope this memo provides you reassurance that we are well prepared to deal with them.

“Most importantly, we remain steadfast in our quest to bring you the world’s greatest beers reliably, and in a wide variety of formats.”


Press release from R&R Teamwork on behalf of James Clay & Sons

For further information, contact Rupert Ponsonby of R&R Teamwork on / 0207 384 1333