From turkey to toys and pig in blankets, we explain what things may be more pricey or in short supply this Christmas due to worker shortages and ongoing coronavirus delays
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Turkeys and pig in blankets are just some of the Christmas staples that may be in short supply this year.
Meanwhile, fresh fears have been sparked about toy costs rising because of increasing transportation costs ahead of the festive season.
The issues are being caused by a mixture of coronavirus delays and post-Brexit rules, while retailers are still grappling with a shortfall of around 100,000 HGV drivers.
The lack of drivers has seen supermarket shelves stripped bare, while restaurant chains like McDonald’s and KFC have been forced to take some items off the menu.
It comes after the boss of Iceland warned ongoing delivery issues could effectively “cancel” Christmas, as supermarkets struggle to replenish shelves.
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Richard Walker, the managing director of the frozen food giant, said: “The reason for sounding the alarm now is that we’ve already had one Christmas cancelled at the last minute and I’d hate this one to be problematic as well.”
But the chairman of Tesco, John Allan, urged people not to panic-buy.
“There may be some shortages”, but people should not “over-dramatise” and panic-buy, he told the BBC.
The boss of a British toy company this week warned how the price of toys could rocket this Christmas following delays and shortages.
Joel Berkowitz, founder of The London Toy Company, said businesses are having to fork out more to ship goods from China to the UK.
He also claimed there is congestion at UK ports following the pandemic.
Mr Berkowitz said: “Toys this Christmas are going to be more expensive, and that’s if they’re even in stock.
“We are massively affected by the shortages. We have clients wanting to place orders now and we just can’t deliver it.
“It’s killing our business. It’s a complete mess.“
There are fears Brits may have to go without turkey this Christmas if supply chain issues continue.
A warning was issued by Mark Gorton, managing director of Traditional Norfolk Poultry, who told ITV News the poultry industry is at crisis point.
He said: “The big problem we’ve got at the moment is labour, we simply cannot find people to run our farms and run our factory.
“This is hugely serious, we are committed to growing these chickens to supply our customers and of course once the birds are on the ground they’re growing.”
Pig in blankets
Christmas dinners may also be without pig in blankets this year, according to a new warning by the National Pig Association (NPA).
Farmers normally start getting pigs prepared for festive season orders around now, meaning current issues could have a knock-on effect for the festive season.
But the NPA says farms are struggling to find staff due to stricter rules on European Union workers.
Zoe Davies, chief executive of the NPA, said: “This is the time the processors would normally be laying down stock for the festive season and storing it.”
The warning from the NPA also stretched to gammon, with fears this could be another festive meat off the table.
Again, this is due to issues with finding staff at pig farms.
Ms Davies continued: “There is a huge concern about pig in blankets and gammon availability for Christmas.”