Christmas Dinner – The Turkey

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I know many people enjoy having a Turkey over the Christmas period, whether you celebrate Christmas or whether it is just enjoying the company of family and friends over the holiday break.

Those of you who prefer a leg of lamp or salmon and even the Vegetarian and Vegan options need not worry.

However, Turkey lovers may face somewhat of a shortage this Christmas, yes with the shortage of the HGV drivers we also have a shortage of Poultry workers.  Now the Government have announced that they are hoping to increase the number of workers in time for Christmas.  The shortage follows the recent shortages in workers in the UK after the Covid Pandemic and of course Brexit.

It is hoped that the UK Government will attract up to 5,500 poultry workers in time for the Christmas dinner.  Workers coming to the UK would make an application under the Temporary Workers route category.

The Food and Drink Federation’s Chief Executive, Ian Wright CBE, said:

“We welcome the Government’s pragmatic decision to temporarily add HGV drivers and poultry workers to the existing visa scheme.

This is something UK food and drink manufacturers have asked for over the last few months – including in industry’s Grant Thornton report – to alleviate some of the pressure labour shortages have placed on the food supply chain.

This is a start but we need the Government to continue to collaborate with industry and seek additional long-term solutions.”

British Poultry Council chief executive Richard Griffiths said:

“The Government’s move to allow temporary workers for the poultry meat sector will be welcomed by seasonal producers.

Temporary workers from outside the UK have long been vital to delivering Christmas for our sector and given the unprecedented challenges of the last year they are needed more than ever. British turkey and goose are the centrepiece of Christmas dinners across the country and we are pleased that Government has listened.”

In addition, long term solutions are needed for industry shortages and DWP is hoping to raise awareness of career opportunities.  Though I cannot see many opting for work experience in the poultry industry.

Whatever you have during this festive holiday I hope your enjoy it with your loved ones.

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