Downing Street vows Brits WILL get their pigs in blankets this Christmas amid supply chain fears
DOWNING Street has assured festive foodies that supermarket shortages will be sorted in time for pigs in blankets at Christmas.
Gloomy industry bosses yesterday warned of permanent squeezes as a lack of lorry drives kinks the supply chain.Pigs in blankets will be on Christmas dinner plates this year[/caption]
Food and Drink Federation chief Ian Wright said: “I think we will see we are now in for permanent shortages.”
No10 said it “rejected” this downbeat assessment and insisted the UK has a “highly resilient” supply chain.
Boris Johnson‘s official spokesman said: “We know there are some issues that are facing the sector.
“We will continue to speak and liaise with those involved in those industries to try to ensure we can help them as much as possible.”
Pressed if Brits will be able to enjoy a normal Christmas dinner this year, he said: “Yes”.
Popular items like McDonalds milkshakes, Nando’s peri-peri chicken and diet cokes have all been struck off menus in recent weeks as businesses grapple with supply issues.
A perfect storm of trucker shortages and EU workers leaving during the pandemic has hampered the supply line.
Mr Wright told an Institute for Government event: “It’s going to get worse, and it’s not going to get better after getting worse any time soon.”
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He added: “The result of the labour shortages is that the just-in-time system that has sustained supermarkets, convenience stores and restaurants – so the food has arrived on shelf or in the kitchen, just when you need it – is no longer working.
“And I don’t think it will work again, I think we will see we are now in for permanent shortages.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last night announced an extra 50,000 lorry driving tests a year to help tackle the lack of truckers.
He said: “We’ve already delivered 50 per cent more tests than were available before the pandemic, but today’s additional measures will deliver up to 50,000 more a year, helping more and more people to kickstart their career as a well-paid HGV driver.”
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