Brits facing Christmas tree and turkey shortage over the festive period
27 September 2021, 13:27
Christmas could look a lot different as farmers warn of turkey shortages and retailers warn there could be supply issues with trees.
Brits are facing potential Christmas tree and turkey shortages, which could result in a very different festive season for many.
The debacle has started with retailers warning shoppers they may not be able to meet customer demands due to labour and supply chain difficulties in the UK.
Around eight to 10 million real Christmas trees are sold across Britain every year, according to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA).
However, one third of these are usually imported from countries across Europe – which is where the issue lies.
- Christmas markets across UK cities to make triumphant return this winter
- Mum sparks furious row after saying it's 'manky' to stay in pyjamas on Christmas Day
- The least popular festive foods revealed - including gravy and stuffing
Mark Rofe, who owns ChristmasTrees.co.uk, told The Sun: "We've spoken to our UK growers and they are all facing the same challenges.
"They are seeing an increase in demand for their product, especially from clients who would usually import their trees from Europe, but are keen to avoid any red tape that could increase costs or cause delays for what is of course a highly seasonal and time-sensitive business."
He also predicts a rise in prices of Christmas trees, adding: "It's going to be more challenging to get hold of a real Christmas tree this festive season.
"However if you are able to get one, you can expect to be paying more than you would have in previous years. Wholesale prices have increased between 5% and 10% just this year."
If that wasn't enough, families hoping to celebrate the festive period over a turkey may also struggle to get their hands on one.
Farmers have said that due to a lack of staff, this could result in less turkeys across the UK for Christmas.
This comes after the Government announced a visa scheme which allowed 5,000 people to come and work for the farmers on a three-month contract, something that some people feel has come in too late.
Kate Martin, chairwoman of the Traditional Farm Fresh Turkey Association, said: "This year it's looking like there is a national shortage of turkeys when we're talking about supermarket shelves, rather than buying direct from your farm.
"It is the supermarket shelves that will be emptier of turkeys this year than they have been before, only because there have been less turkeys placed on the ground; only because the big processers know that they will not get them processed."
When asked whether she thinks supermarkets will run out of turkeys before Christmas, she answered: "I think everyone needs to get their orders in very quickly. We have seen an absolutely unprecedented number of orders come in.
"Come Christmas, if you leave ordering your turkey from your local farm supplier, you are going to be out of luck."
- Shoppers left furious as they spot Christmas trees and decorations in stores already
- Marks & Spencer closing all stores on Boxing Day to give staff a break
- How you can get 11 days off this Christmas by only booking off four