Haribo struggling to deliver sweets to UK amid lorry driver shortage

Shortage caused by Brexit and the pandemic, Road Haulage Association says

Clea Skopeliti
Friday 02 July 2021 08:53
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<p>The company is experiencing a shortage of lorry drivers</p>

The company is experiencing a shortage of lorry drivers

Germany confectioner Haribo is struggling to deliver sweets to UK customers due to a shortage of lorry drivers.

In response to the shortfall, the company has reportedly cancelled upcoming promotions on its share bags as it attempts to protect availability.

According to trade magazine The Grocer, Haribo told its wholesale and retail customers that it is “faced with several challenges throughout our supply chain including a shortage of drivers” but is “working flat out to manage the situation”.

The note added that the issue meant the confectioner would have to cancel its planned promotions on its share size bag ranges, including £1 price marked packs.

A Haribo spokesperson said: “As is the case with many manufacturers and retailers throughout the country, we are experiencing challenges with regards to the nationwide driver shortage. We are working with partners across the food and drink industry to address and respond to this problem.”

Haribo is far from the only supplier affected, with The Grocer reporting that Hain Daniels, Suntory and Danone Waters have also been hit by the shortage of drivers.

The development follows business leaders writing to the government calling for measures to allow Eastern European drivers back into the country to avoid an unprecedented shock to food supplies.

The letter, signed by the Food and Drink Federation, British Frozen Food Federation, Federation of Wholesale Distributors, Cold Chain Federation, British Meat Producers Association and the British Beer and Pub Association, warns that the intervention is the only way “to avert critical supply chains failing at an unprecedented and unimaginable level”.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA), which calculated that there is a shortfall of about 60,000 drivers, attributed the labour issue to Brexit and the pandemic, as well as longstanding concerns.

Speaking to German news programme TagesSchau last month, RHA managing director Rod McKenzie said: “Drivers from the EU just don’t feel welcome since Brexit. We have always been an island people, but now we are more than ever.”

He added that bureaucratic barriers caused by Brexit are making the job more complicated for remaining drivers, saying: “There are countless forms. There are no more open borders to Europe. The job has become more difficult.”

The RHA is calling on the Home Office to add HGV drivers to the UK shortage occupation list and to consider creating a seasonal or temporary visa scheme for accredited lorry drivers to attract overseas workers.

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