News 25 August 2021

Christmas Dinners Under Threat Amid Supply Chain Issues In The UK

25 August 2021

We might not be able to enjoy our favourite Christmas foods this year due to the supply chain issues in the UK, retail industry experts have warned.

Due to staffing challenges – particularly a shortfall in lorry drivers – caused by Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic , many companies have been affected by supply issues and food shortages in recent times and it could affect us at Christmas too.

At current, there are approximately 100,000 fewer lorry drivers than the UK needs and it’s expected that this could leave gaps in shelves even at the end of the year.

Each year, demand for pigs in blankets reaches 40 million packets but the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has warned that the nation’s favourite Xmas food could be cut by a third this year.

“Some of the pig processors are having to cut down on how many pigs they are processing a week so that’s starting to have an impact back on the farm,” BMPA’s chief executive Nick Allen said.

“We are cutting back and prioritising lines and cutting out on things, so there just won’t be the totals of Christmas favourites like we are used to.”

Mr Allen added that on average, the BPMA’s members are around 12-13% short on staff.

In the past few days, we have seen supply issues affect huge companies such as Nando’s and McDonald’s.

Speaking to Yahoo Finance UK, Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland Foods, told Yahoo Finance UK: “The shortages consumers are seeing from the likes of Nando’s and McDonalds in recent days and weeks highlights the immense impact this is having on businesses across the country.

“We have already seen deliveries to our stores cancelled for the first time since the pandemic began, and this is solely due to the heavy goods vehicle driver shortage. “

“The real worry is that time is quickly running out as we approach the extremely busy Christmas period, during which a strong supply chain is vital for everyone.”

[Image by via Shutterstock]