Fuel shortages create challenges for food and drink

A recent report claims access to EU workers would only marginally improve the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver shortage that has hampered distribution of fuel to petrol forecourts – read our analysis of the situation​. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) told Food Manufacture​ that, outside of the obvious logistics problems with getting deliveries of product between plants and into supermarkets, the meat industry had additional but less obvious vulnerabilities to the fuel shortage.

“There are a number of critical workers whose presence is relied on to keep meat factories running,”​ they explained. “Meat inspectors are the people who physically stamp every carcase to denote that it is fit for human consumption so it can enter the food chain.

“Vets must be present to inspect operations from an animal welfare perspective and also sign off critical documentation to certify standards are being met.

Unable to travel to sites

“The people who perform these roles often work across multiple meat plants over a wide geographic area. If either of these roles are absent due to their inability to get petrol and travel to the sites, production instantly slows down in direct proportion to the time they’re not able to work.”

The BMPA said it had heard reports from a couple of companies already that they’re missing some of these key workers. However, it has yet to cause any plants to completely shut but it was monitoring the unfolding situation very carefully.

Source: foodmanufacture.co.uk