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Great Britain: Food supply "on a knife edge"


Food shortages in the UK are worsening. Several associations have now sent demands to Premier Johnson. The retail chain Tesco warns of hamster purchases for Christmas.

Enlarge image

Shelves in a London supermarket on Monday: truck drivers are missing

Photo: Frank Augstein / AP

Since Brexit, the supply of food in Great Britain is no longer guaranteed in the usual selection and quality.

In view of the bottlenecks and the tense supply situation, several British food companies and associations have now even sounded the alarm.

The country's food supply is "on a knife edge," wrote the head of the National Farmers' Union, Minette Batters, in a letter to the prime minister signed by the industry organizations. You need emergency visas to be able to recruit foreign workers. "Without that, we'll have more empty shelves and consumers will panic buying to get through the winter," Batters said.

Like the associations, according to the Guardian, the retail chain Tesco has warned the government of the threat of hamster purchases during the Christmas season.

The supermarket chain had informed the government last week.

The Tesco manager Andrew Woolfenden is said to have said in the interview: "We fear that the picture of empty shelves will increase tenfold by Christmas and then panic buying." Hundreds of truck drivers alone would his company despite the prospect of one no additional bonus.

There is no CO₂ for the packaging of meat or baked goods

In the past few months there had been repeated shortages of various products in Great Britain, so that shelves remained empty in many places.

This is mainly due to a severe shortage of workers in agriculture and among truck drivers, which has been exacerbated by Brexit and the pandemic.

A shortage of CO₂ has recently been putting a strain on the supply.

The gas is required to seal the packaging in a vacuum-tight manner.

The production of chicken and pork as well as baked goods is particularly affected, Ian Wright, head of the FDF food and beverage association, told the BBC at the beginning of the week.

It was a real crisis, Wright said.

The supply chains for supplying supermarkets and restaurants are under more pressure than they have been for 40 years.

CO₂ is generated during fertilizer production.

However, fertilizer manufacturers have recently been hit by the enormous increase in energy prices.

Natural gas in particular has become significantly more expensive.

The important manufacturer CF Industries therefore closed two factories in Great Britain for the time being.

Economy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng announced that he was negotiating temporary financial aid with the US company.

This is not only a problem for the food sector: Kwarteng admitted that poor families in particular are facing a hard winter.

The rise in gas prices coincides with a cut in social security benefits, which the government increased because of the corona pandemic.

Kwarteng and the Ofgem supervisory authority announced that, contrary to what was planned, the upper price limit for energy costs should not be increased for the time being.

apr / dpa

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-09-23

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