Pork producers in the United Kingdom say are just weeks away from slaughtering healthy animals as manpower constraints at abattoirs have now led to a stockpile in excess of 70,000 pigs. It is not the first time that the National Pig Association has raised concerns about the consequences of a shortage of employees, which has impacted food produce and transportation processes, with knock-on implications on several British supply chains. It’s estimated that roughly 15,000 additional pigs are stranded on farms each week, as certain slaughterhouses are now operating at less than 25% of their regular capacities. They will be forced to kill healthy animals if authorities don’t act quickly.
The additional fines that are levied on producers for obese pigs add to the overall expenses incurred due to excessive livestock. An oversupply of pigs due to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has further contributed to difficulties faced by numerous pig owners, who have continually lost money since the last winter. For a lot of farmers, it’s heartbreaking since they had just recovered from various repercussions owing to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association, meat producers have also had to restrict the choice of cuts offered and are failing to complete orders owing to a lack of an adequate workforce.
“Immense pressure” is now on being placed on suppliers of pig meat cuts such as gammon, that consumers would now be expected to purchase in order to make up for the unavailability of conventionally available cuts, Davies added. Highly qualified workers, as well as those with well-paid career opportunities, are the core of the UK’s post-Brexit, points-based immigration system. A measure that will make it simpler for those to obtain visas for certain jobs has been rejected by the governing administration. As per the Food & Drink Federation, several EU employees have also have had to return home due to Brexit and the further prevalence of this pandemic, with certain estimates placing these figures at over 1 million in number.
CEO Ian Wright stated, “If labor shortages aren’t addressed quickly, the effects we’re witnessing now, supply-chain disruptions, on-the-shelf shortages, and perhaps the closures of various hotels, will only increase.” When you consider that suppliers need to ensure that processing capabilities are made accessible, ahead of the holiday season, this becomes a much more critical task.” The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s data indicates that pig slaughter was down by 16 percent, or 30,000 animals, from last year’s figures in the last week of August 2021, despite the prices of pork being relatively lower. The United Kingdom is home to around 5 million pigs. Comprehensive insights concerning the piggery sector in Britain are available through various reputable online platforms.