The food and beverage industry in the UK has had the “scale, nature and urgency” of the transport labour shortage investigated in the hope of persuading the government to intervene in this crisis. The continuing shortage of truck drivers is affecting the food and beverage supply chain. In addition, there is a shortage of warehouse staff and fruit pickers.
Grant Thornton has prepared a report on the impact of this crisis on behalf of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and twelve industry associations, including the Food & Drink Federation, the British Frozen Food Federation and the Cold Chain Federation. This report will be presented to the British government next week.
Large retailers, including Morrisons, Iceland, Waitrose and Ocado, saw a drop in deliveries, as did smaller chains such as Booths and Spar. More and more cargo arrives unaccompanied in ports, and fruit and vegetables are spoiling because drivers do not want to travel back in an empty lorry because it is less profitable.
According to export.org.uk, suppliers of flowers and plants are also suffering from the crisis, as transporters have largely stopped loading flowers and plants in order to give priority to the transport of food.