The UK is facing a “permanent shortage” of food and drink due to a lack of manpower, Ian Wright, director of the country’s Food and Drink Federation, warned on Friday. “The situation is going to get worse, but I don’t think he will rebound and recover for a long time,” he said.
Speaking at an event by the Institute for Governance, a think tank, Wright explained that the chronic mismatch in the labor market left by Brexit and the pandemic means that British people “will no longer be able to go to the supermarket or restaurant and hope that everyone shelves are full and the entire letter is available. ”
The economic mismatch puts Johnson between a rock and a hard place: enduring months of chaos or admitting that hard Brexit was a mistake
Economic mismatch puts Johnson between a rock and a hard place: enduring months of chaos or admitting hard Brexit was a mistake
The blame is that the supply chains that existed until now have been broken, because the lack of truckers and the customs barriers created by Brexit have destroyed the “just in time” system, in which businesses could order new shipments of products the day before your stocks were exhausted. And supermarkets, which have been operating with minimal inventories and tiny warehouses for decades, will not be able to adjust to a new system, in which there are weeks in which not a single gram of chicken or carrots arrives in the country
Wright cited the lack of bottled water throughout eastern England this week. “The country is not going to run out of food. It will be a first world problem: I don’t think anyone is going to despair because one week it will be impossible to buy mineral water. But that will be the pattern from now on,” he warned .
Gaps in the UK job market have shaken supply chains, with a chronic shortage of truck drivers, veterinarians to certify slaughterhouses or engineers disrupting the flow of goods. The food industry is short of about 500,000 employees, or an eighth of the required workforce, and the reasons are clear: European workers who have returned to their countries under the joint pressure of Brexit and the covid, and who now do not They could return even if they wanted to, due to the immigration restrictions put in place by the Government in the meantime.
Downing Street rejected the claims, saying the shortage of some food items would not be permanent. “We have highly resilient food supply chains that have coped with challenges extremely well,” Executive spokesman Jamie Davies told reporters. “We believe it will continue to do so.”
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