UK facing Haribo shortage due to lack of lorry drivers

Haribo is struggling to get its sweets to UK shops because of a shortage of delivery drivers linked to Covid-19 and Brexit.

A spokesman for the German confectionery giant said it was ‘experiencing an unprecedented and sustained surge in demand’.

They added: ‘We are faced with several challenges throughout our supply chain including a shortage of drivers.

‘Whilst this demand is great news for the category and wider economy, it does mean we will have to review our activity plans with all our wholesale and retail partners to ensure the best availability possible is maintained.’

Haribo are not the only manufacturer to be affected by the lorry driver shortage, which the industry is blaming on Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to The Road Haulage Association, there is currently a shortfall of about 60,000 drivers.

It estimates some 30,000 HGV driving tests were not taken last year because of the coronavirus crisis.

Many drivers in Britain had been nationals of EU countries, particularly Bulgaria and Romania.

While a lot of them stayed after Brexit, more of them left to work in their home countries when the pandemic struck, the BBC reports.

The Government has recently held emergency talks with retailers, wholesalers and logistics groups to deal with the shortage.

Industry leaders have warned of potential food shortages this summer, not only because there aren’t enough drivers, but also because of a shortfall of workers in food processing centres and warehouses.

Tesco say 48 tonnes of food is being wasted every week due to a lack of staff.

Chief executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, James Bielby, told the Guardian: ‘There will be a series of pressure points unless some action is taken.

‘It’s a perfect storm. Demand is not being met by supply.’

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