Labour shortages to cause fewer and pricier Christmas Turkeys this year

Shoppers are set to see a shortage in fresh turkeys this Christmas period due to the ongoing supply chain crisis, alongside avian flu and soaring input costs.

Due the shortages, the prices of the poultry items are set to rocket.

Speaking to The Grocer, Paul Kelly, MD of supplier Kelly Turkeys said there is ” no doubt producers are facing a perfect storm around rising costs and labour issues.”

READ MORE: More than 50% of parents are already saving for Christmas as belts continue to tighten

He said: “It depends when [producers] will have bought their feed, but we are expecting the price of turkeys to be between 13% and 25% higher this year.

“Premium suppliers would be better insulated against inflationary pressures,” he added, pointing to the fact that his order books were full. But there was a definite “reduction at the lower end of the market”.

Kelly also reported supermarkets had ordered fewer fresh birds this year saying it is a “good opportunity” for the businesses to cut back as “the fewer they sell the more money they will save”.

This follows comments from turkey farmer and NFU turkey group chair, Michael Bailey, of Cheshire-based Bailey’s Turkeys, who told the BBC’s Today programme on Tuesday he had decided to end production, with the loss of more than 40 jobs.

“Many producers were doing the same, while others had cut production by as much as 50%, to mitigate the financial risk of the sector’s many challenges,” he said.

“There is definitely going to be a reduction in the number of turkeys available this Christmas,” Bailey added.

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