Luke Pollard MP has responded to claims from the agriculture industry that the UK now faces shortages of British-produced meat as problems with recruitment continue following Brexit.
Luke reacted to a BBC News article which states that the poultry industry in particular is struggling to cope with recent challenges, and is reporting a 10% fall in the number of birds being slaughtered for meat in recent weeks. The BBC article speculates that ‘Brexit and coronavirus have meant many EU workers have returned to their own countries, putting a squeeze on production.’
On his Twitter account, Luke Pollard MP wrote:
“British farming is facing a perfect storm of Brexit squeezing labour & export markets, Covid disruption, big changes needed to address climate emergency and their own government selling them out in a trade deal with Australia. It doesn’t have to be like this.”
The BBC article states that poultry producers have been trying to counter the effects of Brexit by increasing automation and raising wages for workers. However skill shortages still persist, especially in rural areas with high employment rate.
The poultry farming industry group BPC has called on the government to ease post-Brexit immigration rules to make it easier to attract EU workers. Industry bodies have suggested that similar labour shortfalls are slowing production in the beef, pork and lamb meat sectors.