Labor shortage leaves 70,000 pigs remaining on British farms

British Agriculture Update

British pig producers have warned that they are still weeks away from phasing out healthy animals after a shortage of labor at the slaughterhouse caused a backlog of 70,000 surplus animals on the farm.

The National Swine Association is the latest organization to warn about the impact on its members, as a lack of workers has affected food production and transportation, which has had a knock-on effect on many UK supply chains.

The association’s chief executive Zoe Davies stated that some slaughterhouses have a quarter of their capacity below normal, and about 15,000 pigs are trapped on the farm every week.

“If they don’t act quickly, we will have to destroy completely healthy pigs,” she said.

Excess pigs will incur additional feed costs and fines imposed by processors on overweight animals. This has increased the pressure on pig farmers, many of whom have been at a loss since the winter, as the problems caused by Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union have put them in trouble. Remaining Davis said the number of animals at the beginning of the year.

She said: “This is devastating for many farmers who have just been freed from the last time.” “We expect a large outflow from the pig industry next year.”

Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association, said that meat processors also had to reduce the scope of available cuts and had difficulty fulfilling orders due to staff shortages.

Davis said that pork products such as tuna are now under “enormous pressure” and that customers will have to rely on imports to fill the supply gap.

The points-based immigration system after Brexit focuses on highly skilled workers and highly paid workers. The government has rejected calls to add butchers to the list of occupations facing shortages, a move that will make it easier for people applying for specific jobs to obtain visas.

According to data from the Food and Beverage Federation, Brexit and the pandemic have also prompted a large number of EU workers to return to their homes. It is estimated that the number of exodus exceeds 1 million.

Its chief executive, Ian Wright, said: “If you don’t take quick action [labour shortages], The impact we have seen will worsen-including supply chain disruptions, shelf shortages and the possible closure of the hotel industry.

“This becomes even more important in the context of the autumn being the critical time for suppliers to ensure availability before Christmas demand.”

According to data from the Agriculture and Horticultural Development Commission, the slaughter volume of pigs in the week ending August 21 was 16% lower than last year, or 30,000, and the price of pigs was also falling. In total, there are about 5 million pigs in the UK.

Allen said that with the end of the vacation plan at the end of September, the broader labor market may ease, although he believes that there are no skilled butchers among those on vacation.

He said that the government has told companies to pay more and improve working conditions, “and then you will get British workers”, but he warned that this will lead to higher food costs. He said that wages have increased, and the annual salary for entry-level meat processing jobs was 18,000 pounds a year ago, and now offers 22,000 pounds.

“This must be reflected in the price of food… Christmas items can be very expensive,” he added.

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