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Are staff shortages affecting your business? Please fill in members' survey

5th Jul 2021 / By Alistair Driver

Members are being urged to fill a short survey to gather information that we can pass to Government on labour shortages. 

The NPA is working hard, alongside other farming and food industry bodies, to raise the issue of serious labour shortages across the pig sector with the Home Office. 

To help us, following concerns raised at the recent NPA PIG meeting about the situation, we have created a short survey which we are asking members to complete by July 6.

You access the survey in the Members' Area (see June 30 entry)

Businesses across the pig industry are affected by what appears to be a combination of new restrictions on EU workers at the start of this year and issues around COVID-19. 

Producer members of the PIG highlighted the difficulties farms across the country are having in finding staff at the group's latest meeting. 

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: "This is becoming a very big issue for the pig sector and we really need to gather some first-hand evidence from members as to what they are experiencing to present to the Home Office." 

A British Meat Processors' Association (BMPA) showed processors were around 11% short of capacity and BMPA chief executive Nick Allen estimates there are currently around 15,000 vacancies nationwide in meat processing factories, almost five times the normal level.

Processors are already being forced to prioritise some products in order to reduce the number of lines being worked on and Mr Allen warned that the shortages could soon force processors to cut back on production and threaten their ability to fulfil orders.

NPA will also be issuing a draft letter for members to send to their MPs to help raise awareness of the current situation and ask the Home Office to address the shortage of EU workers, as well as looking to improve the quantity and quality of home grown talent. 

Haulier survey 

Hauliers are also badly affected, which is having a knock-on impact across the entire food chain.

Defra is seeking more information on the impact of HGV driver shortages on the food sector.

If your business has been impacted by driver shortages, Defra is inviting you to complete a questionnaire and return it to .

Respondents are asked to include as much quantitative data as possible as this information will help guide future policy design.