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Current Affairs

Food shortages in UK

Date: 17 September 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Shortages in availability of food have been experienced by residents of UK due to short supply of labours and truck drivers.

 

Background

The Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit has been the main reason for labour force shortages, as many workers have left the country.

 

Details

  • Some officials and experts say that UK might permanently experience shortage of some products as factory owners have to prioritize product to supply due to shortages in the labour force.

  • McDonald’s had to stop milkshakes after experiencing supply-chain issue resulting from a shortage of truck drivers.

 

Labour shortage in UK

  • Many sectors and business are witnessing shortage of labour. Non-permanent resident workers of UK have exited the country after Brexit.

  • Due to shortage of drivers, logistics is affected. Manufacturers do not have labour force to work in factories and farms.

  • Food production is continuously getting hampered due to shortages of skilled workers. Meat industry is already running behind schedule on Christmas production.

  • Without the robust and assured supply chain, the meat, poultry and dairy industry is sure to collapse. The agriculture sector is also sure of falling apart.

  • Many companies are offering extra salary and bonuses to sign existing drivers from different company. This has affected smaller producers and manufacturers.

 

Shortage of drivers

  • The government introduced new IR35 tax changes. Due to lockdown, the new test for drivers was not conducted. This caused a backlog of tests and shortage of drivers.

  • Firms are asking the government to put lorry drivers onto the occupation shortage list to fill gaps by drivers from the EU and other countries.

 

Effects

The retailers are charging penalty on their suppliers for delay. The prices of food products have also risen in the past couple of weeks.