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‘Definitely enough’ turkeys for Christmas, says poultry bosses

·1-min read
Poultry bosses have reassured shoppers that turkeys will be available at Christmas (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)
Poultry bosses have reassured shoppers that turkeys will be available at Christmas (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

Poultry bosses have sought to reassure shoppers that there will “definitely” be enough turkeys for Christmas despite industry pressures.

The British Poultry Council (BPC) has pledged that Christmas dinners will be able to go ahead as planned as staffing pressures have eased.

The trade body told the BBC that the release of 5,500 visas in September for the sector to recruit more foreign workers has helped ease production problems caused by a shortage of staff.

It said it believes that between 2,500 and 3,000 of these visas have so far been issued and thinks this will be enough to avoid disruption.

Richard Griffiths chief executive of the BPC, said: “It’ll get us over the line.

“We’ve been able to streamline products and reduce the variety, so that helps with the overall volume.

“There will be a focus on whole birds and very simple crowns and roasts.”

He added that there will be a bird for “everyone who wants one” despite the reductions in choice.

Mr Griffiths said early sight of the labour issues meant there was a reduction in the number of birds being reared, meaning the industry can now cope with supply levels.

The BPC also said that producers have managed to recruit some EU seasonal workers who have settled status in the UK.

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