Sainsbury’s: Expert discusses food shortage concerns

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Earlier this week, some restaurants across the UK were forced to shut because they had run out of chicken. Now, there are fears there won’t be enough turkeys in the country by the end of the year.

This could cause chaos at Christmas as many British families eat the bird during the festive season.

On Wednesday, August 18, poultry producers issued a warning claiming the industry is at crisis point.

Restaurants across the country were affected by chicken shortages, including Nando’s.

The popular chain had to shut more than 50 of its restaurants and they remain closed today.

The shortages are being blamed on a lack of lorry drivers and general workers within the food and logistics industries.

Many employees were EU citizens living in Britain, but they have returned to their native because of Brexit and the pandemic.

Before the rules on it changed, the “pingdemic” had also contributed to the shortages as workers had to self-isolate if they had been pinged by the Track and Trace app.

Now, Britons who have been fully vaccinated do not have to self-isolate if they are pinged.

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Following the news of the nationwide chicken shortage, there are now concerns that there may soon be a shortage of turkeys.

Industry leaders and farmers fear there won’t be enough turkeys to meet demand at Christmas.

Mark Gorton, Managing Director at Traditional Norfolk Poultry, told ITV News earlier this week: “The big problem we’ve got at the moment is labour.

“We simply cannot find people to run our farms and run our factory. This is hugely serious; we are committed to growing these chickens to supply our customers and of course once the birds are on the ground they’re growing.

“They have to be processed through the factory, so to be short of people to help us do that has had a major impact.”

Paul Kelly, Managing Director Bronze Turkeys in Danbury, Essex, also commented. He said: “We’re okay as a small family business, we only need a relatively small number of people.

“But the bigger guys that need thousands of people to come and make sure the turkeys get delivered, they’re not taking the risk because they’re not getting any support from the government in terms of ‘you will be allowed to bring your usual workforce in from Europe’.

“That’s not happening at this point in time so they’re not taking the risk to put the turkeys on the farm, because if they can’t get them processed at Christmas, they can’t risk putting them on the farm.”

Mr Kelly added: “There will be a massive shortage because companies cannot risk hatching turkeys and pushing them on the farm if they can’t get the workers to do the job.

“It would be financial suicide. Turkey after Christmas Day is worth nothing.”

Britons were quick to share their opinions on the possible turkey shortage on social media.

One person said: “Now it’s gone be a turkey shortage [sic]. This is ridiculous.”

Another person commented: “Looks like lamb and pork is on the menu for Christmas.”

One person wrote: “That’s a good thing, folk will be so much healthier.”

Another person added: “Both Nando’s and KFC do convincing plant based alternatives, time to embrace those.”

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