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Britain: Sufficient Christmas turkey supply

British poultry producers said there would be enough turkeys for Christmas even after the industry delivered whole birds to overcome a shortage of processing workers.
calendar icon 15 November 2021
clock icon 1 minute read

Customers will have less choice this year, but everyone who wants a bird will be able to buy one, said Richard Griffiths, CEO of the British Poultry Council (BPC).

"There will definitely be enough turkeys for Christmas. I think there will be a focus on whole birds and very simple crowns and roasts," he said.

"This streamlining of our products choice has helped us in terms of overall volume."

The industry was facing huge pressure from labour shortages earlier this year, leading industry to lower expectations in terms of volume, Reuters reports. The BPC had estimated turkey production would be down by 20% this year - an estimate which could, ultimately threaten the traditional Christmas Day meal.

The British government, however, allowed the industry to recruit 5,500 temporary staff from overseas.

Brits worried about a shortage of fresh birds come Christmas purchased frozen ones earlier this year.

Market researcher Kantar said last week that frozen poultry sales were 27% higher year-on-year in the four weeks to Oct. 31. Britons spent an additional 6.1 million pounds ($8.2 million).