Nando’s closures ‘tip of the iceberg’ as more restaurants hit by Brexit food supply crisis Business News

The food supply crisis that has seen the closure of Nando outlets across Britain could see more restaurants closed in the coming weeks, industry bosses have warned.

Sector heads said The independent Brexit was the root of the country’s supply chain problems – as the industry struggles to cope with the return of production workers to the EU and a drastic shortage of capable truck drivers to come to UK.

Nick Allen, managing director of the British Meat Processors Association, said the industry was struggling to bring many product lines to supermarkets and restaurants – with the UK meat production workforce having decreased by up to 20%.

“The supply issues stem from the underlying labor issues that have arisen since Brexit … It’s certainly Brexit related, but it’s also the immigration decisions our politicians are making since Brexit,” he said. Mr. Allen said. The independent.

He added: “Nando is the tip of the iceberg. I think we will see more and more [closures]. Some people are still trying to open their restaurants – but they have a hard time finding staff and fighting over deliveries. “

Richard Griffiths, managing director of the British Poultry Council, blamed Brexit on the labor shortage in poultry production and the impact on supply. “The jobs crisis is a Brexit issue,” Griffiths said on Thursday.

The British Poultry Council and the British Meat Processors Association have called for their production workers to be allowed on the government’s shortage occupation list so more workers can come from overseas.

Mr Allen urged ministers to consider a temporary visa for overseas food industry workers for the coming year. “As an emergency measure, we would like to see some kind of visa for low-skilled people put in place temporarily, because we just can’t have enough staff now,” said the boss of the industry. meat.

He added: “The whole food industry is struggling to find staff – basically it would be great if the government told us about solutions.”

UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said restaurants across the country currently face “huge challenges for their supply chains” as they struggle to restart after the Covid lockdowns.

She said The independent: “About two-thirds of hotel companies say that some goods just don’t arrive. This has the effect of reducing the menu they can offer to customers and increasing sales. “

Nic Wood, owner of the Signature restaurant group, which operates 21 establishments in Edinburgh and Glasgow, said his company “cannot recruit enough staff to open our establishments to capacity or during their opening hours”.

The restaurateur said “understaffing and supply chain complications” were hampering the desire to return to pre-Covid trade levels. “We need a visa program to fill the job gap that has arisen since Brexit.”

One of Britain’s largest poultry producers has dismissed claims that the supply crisis was due to the recent Covid ‘pingemia’ which has forced some staff into self-isolation. A spokesperson for Avara Foods said: “Our concern is to recruit and fill vacancies when the UK workforce has been severely depleted as a result of Brexit.”

Professor Tim Lang of the Center for Food Policy, City University of London, also highlighted the current consequences of Brexit. “We now see that Brexit is starting to work,” he told BBC Radio 4 World to one.

“Here we see the realities of people voting to leave the EU on which we depended for all kinds of migrant workers in the food industry,” he said. “Whether it’s sandwiches, chicken, retail or the hospitality industry, we see tension and tension everywhere. “

One of the country’s largest vegetable producers – which supplies major supermarket chains – said The independent food had to be thrown out because of the lack of carriers.

Jack Pearce, Development Manager at Alfred G Pearce in Norfolk, said: “There is such a shortage that we face delays of several days, which means fresh food is expired and coming back to us to be thrown away. “

The family business – which grows and processes vegetables – struggles with its own labor shortages, has seen its workforce cut by 20% to 30% since Brexit after many of the staff returned from the ‘EU.

“There is some arrogance on the part of the government about recruiting British workers – but they just aren’t here right now,” Pearce said. “We need a bit of short-term realism to reopen visas to the EU.”

It emerged earlier this month that the British military had been put on hold to help deliver supplies to supermarkets to help the country cope with a shortage of around 100,000 truck drivers.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) blamed the crisis on Brexit and all canceled driving tests during the pandemic. Around 15,000 EU drivers have returned home after Brexit, according to the RHA.

The group called on the government to put the heavyweights …

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This notice was published: 2021-08-19 17:11:09

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