Christmas festival meal treats ‘under threat’
Pigs in blankets and other festive meal treats could be in short supply this Christmas, the British Meat Processors Association has warned.
It says 60 percent of the labour force in UK meat plants stems from different countries and the industry isn’t attracting enough seasonal EU employees.
Its chief executive, Nick Allen, told the BBC that wrap cocktail sausages in bacon were done by hand.
He said the job was”fiddly and difficult to mechanise”.
At exactly the exact same time, the British Poultry Council cautioned that”finding adequate labour is getting to be an enormous challenge for the poultry meat industry as the uncertainty around Brexit is prompting lots of our employees to seek jobs in other nations”.
It stated that if the lack of employees continued post-Brexit, it would”pose a risk to the affordability of British food”.
The British Meat Processors Association said there was a problem in bringing UK nationals to work in meat plants since they tended to be in rural areas where there was reduced unemployment.
“Ever since Brexit occurred, it has become hard to continue to European labour,” Mr Allen said.
The sharp drop in the value of the pound had amounted to a decrease in salary for them, he added, while”the message coming from the united kingdom isn’t exactly welcoming”.
However, he added: “It is not simply a Brexit issue.” The working conditions in meat plants, including the low temperatures, will need to protect the meat, made it tough to attract employees, while demand for seasonal labour was obviously higher in other sectors also, particularly delivering Christmas cards and parcels.
The British Meat Processors Association represents the vast majority of businesses operating in the British meat industry, managing beef, lamb and pork products.
Its members are responsible for providing fresh meat and meat products to restaurants, retailers and foodservice firms throughout the UK.
The business employs about 75,000 people and is worth more than #7bn annually to the British market.
Meanwhile, the UK poultry industry employs over 37,000 people and contributes over #3bn a year to the economy.
A spokesperson for the British Poultry Council said the sector had grown”past the UK labour availability in the areas we operate”.
This meant that it had to find 7,200 non-UK employees annually to fill its vacancies.
The spokesperson added:”If these vacancies can’t be filled post-Brexit, we won’t have access to the labour required to feed this country, which will have a considerable effect on the creation of, and for that reason cost of food.
“This then would pose a threat to the affordability of food.”