Richard Griffiths, British Poultry Council CE, said his members were already having to cut back production because of a lack of staff. An Immediate government action is needed to stem the supply crisis facing the UK poultry industry, due to a severe shortage of staff.

“Members are telling us that 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. This is all down to labour shortages. UK food security will be hit with a double whammy of food inflation and being forced to rely on more imported food. This can only lead to a 2-tier food system where high-quality British food may be out of reach for struggling consumers,” he warned. The British Poultry Council calling on the government to include poultry meat supply chain workers on the “skilled workers list” and “shortage occupations list” and reduce unnecessary thresholds on salaries and skills, Extend the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme to the poultry meat sector to protect seasonal demand for poultry meat in Christmas  trading, Ensure vital food production is at the core of skills and education programs such as the Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Apprenticeship Levy to improve the appeal of the sector and Urgently adopt the first food security survey as required by the new Agriculture Bill.