Food shortages: UK to 'compromise' on branded goods says expert
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Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association, has said beef products are being shipped to Ireland for processing before being re-imported into the UK. The products are sent for cutting and packing due to a shortage of butchers in Britain.
This process racks up a total of £1,500 in transport fees for each lorry load, the Daily Mail has reported.
“Due to the shortage of meat workers in the UK and the limitations to recruit caused by the immigration policy, processors are taking advantage of the fact that other countries are sourcing extra labour from around the world and exporting meat to be processed and returned to this country,” Mr Allen told the publication.
“Whilst it is an added cost it is a better option than empty shelves and animals building up on the farms.”
Mr Allen also added there is a 15 percent staff shortage across many meat plants in the UK.
READ MORE: Major supermarket rubbishes supply chaos
However, in some cases it reached as high as 20 percent.
The chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association stressed the UK beef sector desperately needs to fill 15,000 vacancies.
Last month, the Government issued 800 temporary visas for butchers to work in Britain for up to six months.
However, it is unknown how many applications have been made.
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More than 10,000 pigs have been culled amid a backlog on farms, the National Pig Association has revealed.
Chief executive Zoe Davies said: “This is not excess supply, farmers have been contracted to grow these pigs, but the facilities are taking a quarter less than they agreed because they simply don’t have the butchers.
“The Government has to help now because all the processors have tried very hard to recruit lately, wages have gone up exponentially over the last few months.
“The reality is that most people in the UK do not want to work in abattoirs and it doesn’t matter how much you pay them.”
The comments come amid increasing fears a Christmas staple may be harder to get this year due to the ongoing shortages.
It is estimated there will be a 20 percent shortage of turkeys this festive season as some stores are already seeing an increase in sales.
Sales of frozen turkeys increased by 409 percent in September in comparison to the same month last year, supermarket Iceland has revealed.
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