The boss of Britain’s poultry industry body has called on the government to fast track workers as the sector faces severe disruptions that have forced restaurants including Nando’s and KFC to adjust or cancel their service.
Richard Griffiths, chief executive of the British Poultry Council, also blamed worker shortages following Brexit for the issues the industry is currently facing.
Sky News understands that the group has contacted the Home Office about the issue, but has yet to receive a response.
When you don’t have people, you have a problem - and this is something we are seeing across the whole supply chain. The labour crisis is a Brexit issue,“ Mr Griffiths said.
The problems had been widely reported across multiple sectors, he added.
The poultry industry is responsible for producing half of all the meat eaten in the UK. Currently, the sector is reporting vacancies of over 16%, Mr Griffiths said.
“The alarming number of gaps only continue to grow due to a government that continually acts against the best interests of British food producers,” he said.
Separately, one of Britain’s largest poultry producers dismissed claims that the industry crisis was caused by workers being told to self-isolate after receiving a notification from the NHS Test & Trace app.
A spokesperson for Avara Foods said that the company was not experiencing any significant inconvenience due to the so-called ‘pingdemic’.
“Our concern is recruitment and filling vacancies when the UK workforce has been severely depleted as a result of Brexit; this is causing stress on UK supply chains in multiple sectors,” the spokesperson said.