Greggs is the latest food chain to fall victim to nationwide chicken supply shortages.
It’s been reported today by PoliticsHome that the same poultry supplies issue that caused around 50 Nando’s restaurants to close across the UK last week has now similarly afflicted the ever-popular bakery chain Greggs – which has over 2,000 branches across the UK, and plans to open a further 100 shops before the year is out.
The Greggs menu has several items containing chicken, including the much-loved chicken bake.
The chargrill chicken oval bite, and several chicken-filled baguettes are also said to be affected, but the bakery chain has stressed that despite the ongoing supply chain disruption, its broad menu meant it had been able to mitigate the impact.
A combination of post-Brexit restrictions and COVID-19 disruption have caused shortages of workers in several industries.
Addressing the wider issue, Richard Griffiths – Chief Executive of the British Poultry Council – said that members had reported a 5-10% drop in weekly chicken production as a result of workforce issues.
“They are currently producing a reduced range of products for UK customers, and are seriously concerned that the supply of staple chicken products will be impacted,” Griffiths said.
“When you don’t have people, you have a problem – and this is something we are seeing across the whole supply chain.”
Rod McKenzie from the Road Haulage Association also told the BBC earlier this week that: “We’ve lost 20,000 European drivers, then COVID meant that 40,000 driver tests haven’t happened.”
He added the shortfall, combined with Brexit-related border disruption, represents a “real and present danger” to UK industry.
McDonald’s also confirmed it had ran out of milkshakes yesterday too.
The UK government has been urged to grant 10,000 temporary visas to EU drivers in a bid to make up the shortfall, however it is currently resisting and instead arguing that companies should concentrate on training up British workers.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “The British people repeatedly voted to end free movement and take back control of our immigration system.
“Employers should invest in our domestic workforce instead of relying on labour from abroad.”
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