The lack of heavy vehicle drivers in the United Kingdom It has caused in recent days a major fuel shortage crisis that, however, is not exclusive to the sector. The country’s labor shortage, the cause of which must be sought in several factors, including the pandemic and Brexit, is also affecting other industries, from fruit picking to food processing, but also passing through the hotel industry, catering and construction, a problem that is exacerbated by the lack of truckers and the consequent instability in the supply chain.
This will inevitably cause, according to industry sources, a price increase on some products, which was already anticipated also due to high energy prices. In fact, this scenario is compounded by the carbon dioxide shortage caused by the closure of the two plants that produce 60% of the UK’s CO2 due to the high price of gas. A perfect storm, because carbon dioxide is used in the meat industry, fresh food packaging, the addition of bubbles to drinks and the slaughter of animals for human consumption.
During the pandemic, and due to lockdowns that shut down the UK economy, many community workers returned to their countries. With the arrival of Brexit, the end of free movement and new requirements for immigrants, the situation worsened. Last summer, the fast food chain Nando’s temporarily closed 50 of its 400 restaurants after suffering
chicken supply while McDonald’s he had to cut a few drinks off his menu. Supermarkets also acknowledge that they are having trouble restocking products on their shelves and Richard Griffiths, CEO of the British Poultry Council, the association that brings together the poultry feed business, believes that ‘this is something that we are seeing throughout the supply chain. The labor crisis is a Brexit problem ”.
All this combination of factors is causing a shortage of other products, a situation that could get worse. According Ian Wright, Executive Director of the Food and Beverage Federation, consumers are already noticing the lack of products poultry, and bakery, as well as red meats, soft drinks, beer, fruits and vegetables.
The East of Scotland Growers Group (ESG), a Scottish farmer cooperative, says it has discarded some 3.5 million head of broccoli so far due to distribution problems and pet food producers have also warned of the problems they face in distributing their products. As if this were not enough, according to the Association of Pet Food Manufacturers, the population of domestic animals increased in the United Kingdom by 3.2 million in 2020, so they have been struggling for months to meet this excessive increase in demand.