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Worker Shortage: Meat Processing Difficulties on the Horizon

A knock-on effect for processors, distributors, suppliers and consumers

Due to a lack of trained staff, abattoirs around the UK have had to reduce the number of pigs that they will accept from farms for slaughter and butchery.

Farmers have reported that there is no shortage of pigs, but their strict schedule for raising the animals means that they cannot afford to continue to feed them after they are ready for slaughter.

Though the cause of the staff shortage is disputed with some pointing to the pandemic while others blame Brexit, this is of little comfort to farmers or suppliers.

Haulage industry bosses have been lobbying the government for them to reconsider their advice to hire British drivers to cover the dearth left by foreign lorry drivers who have returned to their countries. Farmers are in the same boat and request that temporary visas be issued to meat processing professionals from abroad to deal with the backlog.

Considering the fact that it will take time to train people to be able to work as professional meat cutters and the pig farming industry is said to be weeks away from disaster, simply training British workers is not a feasible option.

All of this has a knock-on effect for suppliers and consumers who may find it difficult to obtain the pork products they need. Coupled with the recent shortage of carbon dioxide that aids with the storage of meat products, there could be a few more empty shelves in the near future.

If you have a business that involves the supply of food or you are thinking about buying one, you will need to consider how to deal with the inability to get the products you need. Though there may be other products that your customers can choose from, there may be times when an alternative just won’t do.

As a business owner, you are likely to have a range of contacts in relation to your industry, and you can call upon them in an attempt to find any scarce meat products. You will also need to factor in the inevitable increased price of the meat products.

Before we know what action the government may take to solve this issue, it may be necessary to take steps to entice disappointed customers with alternatives if it proves impossible to get what you need. Though pork may only play a small part of your business, you need to consider the fact that the same problem could arise for other products.

Megan Kelly

About the author

Megan is the Content Manager for Dynamis and researches and writes for She is an expert writer and aspiring digital marketer.


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