Company says scale of Dover-Calais chaos is the worst

DR Collin vans supporting the YES campaign
DR Collin vans supporting the YES campaign

A well-known Borders company has said the chaos at Dover and Calais has cost it more than £100,000 over the past five weeks.

Migrants trying to get through the Eurotunnel, coupled with striking French maritime workers, means lorries have been stacked up along the motorway.

And seafood traders D R Collin say the situation is the worst they have ever experienced.

The company exports seafood – and much of that trade is to mainland Europe.

James Cook, the managing director of the Eyemouth-based business, has confirmed the £100,000 cost.

He said: “We are a speciality company.

“We deal in high-value live products – live langoustine and live lobster – so this has an even shorter shelf-life than fresh perishable goods, so it is of even more significance to us. After five weeks of this, we are in a very, very difficult trading situation. This is our fifth week with these losses and it can’t continue.”

The company is one of several that have called on the UK and Scottish governments to do more to resolve the situation.

They say the delays have led to produce being rejected in Europe, or having to be sold at a discounted price.

It is being described as the worst crisis in the firm’s 63-year history.

Borders MP Calum Kerr and MSP Paul Wheelhouse met with Mr Cook. Mr Kerr told us: “They are a fantastic Borders business and a hugely-successful exporter, but they are now caught in a highly-damaging situation which is not of their making.

Mr Wheelhouse added: “The impact at a time of peak demand for langoustines is bad enough, but with the lobster season overdue, when that kicks in imminently, the economic impact will only be compounded.”