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Pigs in blankets could be hit by post-Brexit supply problems

Pigs in blankets could be hit by post-Brexit supply problems
Demand for pigs in blankets reaches about 40 million packets every year, but supply could be cut by a third

Brexit-induced labour shortages may make it difficult for Brits to get their hands on pigs in blankets this winter, a retail industry boss has warned.

Demand for pigs in blankets – sausages wrapped in bacon – reaches about 40 million packets every year.

However, the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) said that production of the Christmas dinner favourite could be cut by a third.

The shortage comes down to staffing challenges, particularly a shortfall in lorry drivers, BMPA chief executive Nick Allen said. On average BMPA members are around 12 per cent to 13 per cent short on staff, with one company missing about a fifth of its workforce.

He blamed the Government’s immigration policies for the widespread staffing challenges faced across numerous industries.

Mr Allen said: “Some of the pig processors are having to cut down on how many pigs they are processing a week so that’s starting to have an impact back on the farm.

“We are cutting back and prioritising lines and cutting out on things, so there just won’t be the totals of Christmas favourites like we are used to.”

He added that supplies of gammon could also be affected.

Numerous other companies, including Subway, Wetherspoons and, most recently, McDonald’s, have been hit with supply chain issues.

Today it was confirmed that McDonald’s has stopped receiving milkshake mix after it told dairy giant Arla to cease sending them after supply chain issues left them unable to sell the beverages.

On Monday, the fast-food chain stopped selling the drinks, along with many other bottled beverages, in all of its 1,250 restaurants in Great Britain.

A shortage of lorry drivers was also to blame for the issue.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “The UK faces a shortfall of 90,000 HGV drivers and it is consumers who will ultimately suffer for this.

“So far, disruption has been minimal thanks to the incredible work by retailers and their suppliers.

“Retailers are increasing pay rates, offering bonuses and introducing new driver training schemes, as well as directly supporting their suppliers in the movement of goods, but Government will need to play its part.

“We are calling on the Government to rapidly increase the number of HGV driving tests taking place, provide temporary visas for EU drivers, and to make changes on how HGV driver training can be funded.”

PA