UK could see ‘worst food shortages in 75 years’, warns 2 Sisters founder

The founder of food producer 2 Sisters, Ranjit Singh Boparan has warned that the UK could see the “worst food shortages in 75 years” unless the government takes urgent action.  

Boparan outlined the “toxic cocktail” of issues currently facing the supply chain of his company, including a 15 per cent labour shortage across its 16,000 workers, which he attributes to Brexit, the pandemic and the ‘pingdemic’ occurring in recent weeks for the major shortage of labour in the supply chain.  

“Why is the government still paying furlough to around two million people with the economy essentially open and yet we have an on-going labour crisis?” Boparan said. 

“Why is it not reclassifying our frontline workers to the correct status so we have a corridor open for EU workers in the UK? 

“Why is it not allowing for key workers in the food industry who are double vaccinated to continue their work when they are ‘pinged’? 

Recently, the food industry has suffered with ingredient inflation, with feed inflation being reported at an eight-year high.  

READ MORE: Food shortages are ‘weeks’ away, warns RHA boss

The company has also seen an unprecedented wage inflation across its supply chain in skilled roles; from hatcheries to farm, delivery and logistics.  

“We are operating in a framework that’s complete madness and the Government needs calling out for sticking their heads in the sand,” Boparan continued. 

“These are unique, era-defining challenges which we started to tackle head on last year. 

“But they’ve all come to a head in the past 12 weeks.  

“Clearly these have brought continued and intensive pressure on our business, just like they have elsewhere,” he said.  

“We’re just about coping, but I can see if no support is forthcoming – and urgently – from government, then shelves will be empty, food waste will rocket simply because it cannot be processed, or delivered, and the shortages we saw last year will be peanuts in comparison to what could come.”      

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