‘Definitely enough’ turkeys for Christmas, says poultry bosses

The trade body told the BBC that the release of 5,500 visas in September has helped ease labour problems.

Henry Saker-Clark
Monday 15 November 2021 10:51
Poultry bosses have reassured shoppers that turkeys will be available at Christmas (Steve Parsons/PA)
Poultry bosses have reassured shoppers that turkeys will be available at Christmas (Steve Parsons/PA)

Poultry bosses have sought to reassure shoppers that there will “definitely” be enough turkeys for Christmas despite industry pressures.

The British Poultry Council (BPC) has pledged that Christmas dinners will be able to go ahead as planned as staffing pressures have eased.

The trade body told the BBC that the release of 5,500 visas in September for the sector to recruit more foreign workers has helped ease production problems caused by a shortage of staff.

It said it believes that between 2,500 and 3,000 of these visas have so far been issued and thinks this will be enough to avoid disruption.

Richard Griffiths chief executive of the BPC, said: “It’ll get us over the line.

“We’ve been able to streamline products and reduce the variety, so that helps with the overall volume.

“There will be a focus on whole birds and very simple crowns and roasts.”

He added that there will be a bird for “everyone who wants one” despite the reductions in choice.

Mr Griffiths said early sight of the labour issues meant there was a reduction in the number of birds being reared, meaning the industry can now cope with supply levels.

The BPC also said that producers have managed to recruit some EU seasonal workers who have settled status in the UK.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in