A fall in the number of EU workers in the UK after Brexit is hitting the meat sector hard with industry leaders warning of a 10 per cent fall in output.
The British Poultry Council has sounded the alarm over a shortage of staff in both farming and processing since Easter.
“One or two have said to me that they are only one or two weeks away from failing to deliver to retail customers and saying to farmers that they can no longer take animals off the farm,” Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association, told the FT.
Meanwhile, the UK government is said to be considering unilaterally extending elements of the Brexit grace period in order to allow the movement of chilled meats such as sausages into Northern Ireland, if the EU does not agree to an extension.
The Belfast Telegraph quoted a senior government source as saying that Brussels will this week be asked to extend the grace period, with London said to be set on pushing ahead with the measure even if the EU refuses.