More than a quarter of food and hospitality businesses have been hit by low stock levels in recent weeks according to the Office of National Statistics.
A ‘perfect storm’ of Covid and Brexit has been blamed for the increasingly empty shelves in the nation’s supermarkets. You can read about all the items running low on shelves in the UK here.
And the bosses of Iceland and Tesco supermarkets have already raised concerns about Christmas.
Read more:Festive essentials due to be in short supply this Christmas
Now an expert in logistics at the University of South Wales is warning that there might not be the same choice of fresh festive products that we are used to this year.
Stuart Milligan, who is an expert in logistics, procurement and supply chain at the university, told BBC Radio Wales: “It is likely to be different this year.
“The Christmas build starts now so the non food will be flowing in now. We will have Christmas trees and decorations, it will get there.
“But fresh food will be interesting as it peaks two or three days before Christmas, and it is a real peak because the perishability of the goods makes it really challenging; we might have more of a frozen Christmas than a fresh one.
“We will get there but we might not have the same choice of fresh goods that we are used to, and we might have to opt for frozen”.
He add that that the current supply chain shortages was “not an easy problem” to fix with a shortfall of more than 90,000 HGV drivers across the UK.
“I think it is going to rumble on, and I think it is going to get worse,” he told the programme. “At the moment we don’t have schools open. It might get a little bit worse. It will eventually get there but it might be a bit rocky before then.
“The pay within the haulage industry varies [from] minimum wage to £60,000 a year. It is a difficult job working 15 hours in a day, leaving on a Sunday and coming back on a Friday.
“The average age is 54 and predominately male, so there are lots of issues attracting women and young people to the job.”
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