The UK is experiencing a crisis in the dairy industry amid a shortage of workers after Brexit. The shortage of drivers and warehouse employees forced farmers to throw out products and jeopardized the assortment in stores, writes the Independent.
The collected milk spoils even on farms, as there is no one to take it to enterprises and supermarkets. The National Union of Farmers (NFU) considers the situation on the labor market “unstable” and fears its further deterioration. The representative of the organization said that many farms have to either reduce supplies or get rid of products.
Milk and More have already had to refuse many customers to deliver dairy products to their homes due to a shortage of warehouse employees and truck drivers. Another logistics company working with dairy products shared with NFU that for the first time in 27 years it is experiencing difficulties in finding employees.
The situation has become noticeably worse in the last two months, and now even a small shortage of personnel can stop the flow of raw milk to dairies and endanger the country’s food industry. In the next couple of months, supply disruptions are likely to become noticeable, and British retailers will be left without dairy products.
Farmer Henry Bloxham works at the Moors Covert farm in Stafford and under the terms of the contract can only sell milk to one company. Recently, this company could not find a driver to transport the goods and asked to throw out the batch. Bloxham admitted that production costs are constantly growing and do not pay off. He added that the winter will be difficult if milk prices are not raised.
David Potts, director of the Morrisons supermarket chain, warned that a shortage of staff and rising commodity prices will inevitably lead to a rise in the price of products on store shelves and a shortage of them. He noted a significant reduction in the supply of animal feed, soda, drinking water, chips, and some types of wine.
Before Brexit, cargo transportation, agriculture, and food production were mainly engaged in migrants from the European Union. Now it has become more difficult for them to enter the country, and companies cannot hire employees for the vacant places.
Food producers are calling on the government to allow temporary work visas — this is the fastest way to cope with the crisis in the labor market and establish supply chains for the busy winter holiday season. However, the authorities of the country do not agree to such measures and advise companies to look for local staff.
The lack of drivers forces farmers to throw away more than just milk. The Scots had to destroy a huge crop of broccoli and cauliflower, as there was no one to transport the vegetables to the refrigeration enterprises.