Brexit And COVID Combine To Create A Perfect Storm For Chicken Farmers In The UK

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When Nigel Upson inspects the plucked chicken corpses hanging from a rotating column at his poultry factory in England,

Brexit And COVID Combine To Create A Perfect Storm For Chicken Farmers In The UK

he notices that money is being sucked out of his company due to a sequence of events that has affected every element of the agriculture supply chain.

Brexit And COVID Combine To Create A Perfect Storm For Chicken Farmers In The UK

Northern Ireland is a province of the United Kingdom

Can the significant differences in views between the United Kingdom and the European Union be bridged? Like many other food producers in the United Kingdom, Upson has been affected by an outflow of eastern European employees who, discouraged by Brexit paperwork, departed en masse when COVID limitations were removed, further increasing the already-increasing cost of feed as well as fuel for the company. Because of the magnitude of the blow, he was forced to reduce production by 10% while increasing pay by 11%, a raise that was quickly equaled or surpassed by other businesses in the northeast of England.

Increases in the price of food are almost certain to follow

In front of four enormous, immaculate buildings, each of which houses 33,000 hens, Upson told Reuters, “We’re being attacked from all directions.” “The situation has the characteristics of a perfect storm, to use the term. Something has to give in this situation.

“When difficulties at Upson’s Soanes Poultry factory in east Yorkshire deteriorate, they serve as a microcosm of pressures constructing on businesses from across the fifth-largest economy as they spring up from COVID and face the post-Brexit barriers to trade erected between the United Kingdom and European Union.

On the broader food industry, operators have raised salaries by as much as 30% in certain instances in order to retain employees, putting an end to an economic system that allowed supermarkets such as Tesco to provide some of the cheapest rates in Europe in the first place.

Retailers may be forced to import more goods as a result of the departure of European employees, who frequently performed tasks that British workers did not want to do. While supply chain difficulties and a labor shortage have affected all major economies in the aftermath of the epidemic, companies claim Britain’s strict new immigration laws have made it more difficult to recover.

Already, a shortage of drivers has resulted in a scarcity of gasoline at petrol stations as well as gaps on grocery shelves. In contrast, the chicken restaurant brand Nando’s has run out of chicken to serve its customers. Its Bank of England is trying to weigh how much more of a recent spike in inflation may prove to be long-lasting and if it will be necessary to raise interest rates off their record lows in the process.

Pressure During Mounting

According to Upson, the situation is terrible for rural enterprises located near the flat, wide fields of Yorkshire’s countryside. Even though he claims to need 138 employees for his factory, he has lately had to function with less than 100 employees.

The turnover rate among employees is substantial. According to Richard Griffiths, chairman of the British Poultry Council, the industry has shed over 15% of its workforce due to Europeans accounting for about 60% of the sector’s workforce.