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Pigs In Blankets Shortage This Christmas Is 'Inevitable', Warns Meat Industry

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Pigs In Blankets Shortage This Christmas Is 'Inevitable', Warns Meat Industry

Brits have been warned that a shortage of pigs in blankets is 'inevitable' this Christmas.

Yes, I know it's not the news you wanted or needed to hear today, but experts have warned that we should prepare ourselves for the worst.

According to reports, 40 million packets of the meaty treat land on our shores every year, but this could be cut by a third due to labour shortages linked to Brexit.

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has blamed the UK government's immigration policies for staffing challenges faced by many companies, with employers down by 12 to 13 percent of staff.

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BMPA chief executive Nick Allen said: "Some of the pig processors are having to cut down on how many pigs they are processing a week so that's starting to have an impact back on the farm.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"We are cutting back and prioritising lines and cutting out on things, so there just won't be the totals of Christmas favourites like we are used to."

He also added that supplies of gammon could also be affected.

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This comes after McDonald's confirmed it was running out of milkshakes and bottled drinks across its 1,250 outlets in England, Scotland and Wales.

A spokesperson for the fast-food giant said the group was 'working hard to return these items to the menu'.

They said: "Like most retailers, we are currently experiencing some supply chain issues, impacting the availability of a small number of products.

"Bottled drinks and milkshakes are temporarily unavailable in restaurants across England, Scotland and Wales.

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"We apologise for any inconvenience, and thank our customers for their continued patience."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The group is understood to have temporarily halted selling milkshakes and bottled drinks at its branches in order to ensure supply across its broader menu.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, urged the UK government to take action to prevent further shortages.

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She said: "The UK faces a shortfall of 90,000 HGV drivers and it is consumers who will ultimately suffer for this.

"So far, disruption has been minimal thanks to the incredible work by retailers and their suppliers.

"Retailers are increasing pay rates, offering bonuses and introducing new driver training schemes, as well as directly supporting their suppliers in the movement of goods, but Government will need to play its part.

"We are calling on the Government to rapidly increase the number of HGV driving tests taking place, provide temporary visas for EU drivers, and to make changes on how HGV driver training can be funded."

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Topics: Christmas, UK News, Festive, brexit

Dominic Smithers
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