Poultry supply chain 'is a massive problem' says Griffiths
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The British Poultry Council has warned the UK faces a “massive problem” over the supply chain serving the industry as a result of a shortage in staff. Industry boss Richard Griffiths has told BBC radio that problems within the supply chain could have a wider impact amid concerns over a lack of available workers following Brexit. Mr Griffith reported Poultry Council members faced vacancy rates as high as 16 percent.
Mr Griffiths told BBC Radio 4: “The situation we’re seeing I think is a result of the Brexit issues that have arisen.
“And we’re seeing struggles across the supply chain with shortage of labour.”
“Our members are reporting up to 16% vacancies at the moment and this is a direct result of the limiting of immigration policies,” he added.
“We are asking the government to ease those, and also look at the skills and development arena as well to try and encourage not just non-UK but also UK workers into the sector.”
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Mr Griffith continued: “We are one part of the supply chain and this is affecting everybody.
“We have seen the HGV drivers, that is part of our supply chain as well.
“We have seen the hospitality problems, that is part of our supply chains.
“So we are not alone.”
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“This is a massive problem,” he told Radio 4.
Asked if the industry could pay higher salaries in order to attract UK workers, Griffiths argued the problem was not wages.
He replied: “That’s just not the case.
“We’ve seen over a number of years that the willingness and availability are just not there in the UK workforce.”
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It comes as the popular peri-peri chicken outlet Nando’s was forced to shut 45 restaurants this week citing issues with supply.
A Nando’s spokeswoman said on Wednesday: “The UK food industry has been experiencing disruption across its supply chain in recent weeks due to staff shortages and a number of our restaurants have been impacted.
“However, since Monday, a team of our brilliant Nandocas have been supporting our key suppliers onsite – working in partnership to help get things moving again, and this has already had a positive impact on affected restaurants.
“From this Saturday, as a result of the hard work behind the scenes, it is our intention that all of our restaurants will be open again, and all our customers can enjoy their favourite peri-peri chicken.”
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