‘Crisis point’: Meat shortage could hit the UK as food shortages continue – ‘surely not’

Sainsbury’s: Expert discusses food shortage concerns

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Companies have warned that the country could face meat shortages on items like lamb chops and steaks due to huge quantities of staff being told to self-isolate. Meat processors are seeing up to one in 10 of their workforce told to quarantine by the NHS app.

Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) warned that some companies could be forced “to start shutting down production lines all together”.

As Covid cases continue to rise, a growing number of businesses are reporting disruption due to staff absences.

Mr Allen added: “As a result, companies are having to simplify down their range of products to compensate for key skills being removed from their production lines.

“If the UK workforce situation deteriorates further, companies will be forced to start shutting down production lines all together.”

The first products that could be hit by the shortage are French-trimmed lamb chops with the fat removed, which require more work from skilled butchers.

Handmade burgers and specialist sausages could also be affected too.

It comes as as many as 500,000 people are being told to self-isolate everyday, with businesses such as Wetherspoons having to close venues at short notice. 

Meat isn’t the only food that could be in short supply this summer.

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Food and drinks companies have reported they are struggling with deliveries to shops due to a lack of workers, including lorry drivers.

Haribo recently shared a statement explaining their ongoing issue.

It read: “Haribo are experiencing an unprecedented and sustained surge in demand.

“We are working flat out to manage the situation.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Danone Waters, who own bottled water brands Evian and Volvic said: “We do not have the required amount of trucks and drivers to cover customer demand, this is due to a national shortage.”

A spokesperson for Nestlé Waters added that the company had been experiencing high demand for products.

They said: “We believe this is driven by the easing of national lockdown restrictions, and we have also been enjoying a warm British summer.

“This increase in demand has also had a knock-on effect on the haulage industry and we are experiencing shortages int the network servicing our supply, particularly for our international brands such as S. Pellegrino.”

Appearing recently on Prime Minister’s Questions, Glasgow East MP David Linden urged Boris Johnson to act as the sector reaches “crisis point”. 

Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive said that demand for barbecue foods, soft drinks and certain alcoholic beverages has been stronger than expected.

Taking to social media to share their thoughts on the food shortage, some Britons expressed that they were noticing bare shelves.

One person said: “A few bare shelves in the supermarkets, nothing out of the ordinary.”

Another wrote: “I visited Morrisons first thing today and some shelves were fairly empty.”

“Surely not, we had this last year but for a different reason, I hope this isn’t the case,” tweeted a third.

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