In the midst of supply chain upheaval, Oliver Dowden swears to put “turkeys on the table” at Christmas.
TURKEY WILL BE ON BRITAIN’S TABLES THIS CHRISTMAS, despite food shortages and supply chain upheaval, according to Tory Chairman Oliver Dowden.
Mr Dowden, speaking from the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, insisted that delivering Christmas is at the top of the Government’s priority list, despite weeks of labor shortages, supply chain disruption, HGV driver shortages, and skyrocketing fuel prices.
“There are issues with supply chains,” Mr Dowden said.
“We aren’t the only ones in the UK who think this way. Take, for example, other countries such as Poland, the United States, and others.
“There are driver shortages due to a variety of issues, including the fact that testing was not conducted during COVID.”
“You have a population of drivers that is becoming older. We’re doing something about it.” “Whether that’s extending the time before you have to renew your license, or beefing up the capacity to conduct exams,” he continued. “But you can’t promise me that there will be turkey on the table at Christmas?” Trevor Phillips countered. “We will make sure people have their turkeys for Christmas,” Dowden insisted.
“And I know that this is at the top of the environment secretary George Eustice’s priority list.”
Mr Dowden’s remarks come amid growing concerns about the impact of supply chain delays and labor shortages in the UK throughout the holiday season.
It comes as the government announces an emergency plan to provide 5,500 three-month work permits to poultry workers from outside the UK – and 5,000 to HGV drivers – in order to relieve pressure on the supply chain and get food on stores.
However, Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers’ Union, and Shane Brennan, CEO of the Cold Storage Federation, told Radio 4’s Farming Today on Saturday that the visa plans are too little, too late.
While applauding the government’s move, Ms Batters emphasized that “too much disturbance” in the supply chain isn’t required for things to go wrong.
She went on to say that these challenges are exacerbated by rising costs of commodities in the UK, as well as staffing and fuel shortages in the country.
“It’s a shame, to be honest, that we’re having this talk today and that we haven’t seen action to date,” Ms Batters said.
Mr. Brennan, thank you for your time. “Brinkwire News Summary.”