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Christmas in danger: Turkeys, fizzy drinks and beer could run out

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Shoppers have been warned that a host of items are under threat this Christmas, from turkey to beer and electronic goods to bicycles amid the supply chain crisis.

British families may also struggle to find toys, sofas and fizzy drinks – and prices could soar thanks to ongoing labor shortages and shipping problems.

Retail analyst Clive Black warned that turkeys could be substituted for roasted nuts and many people will be asking ‘what the hell is this’ when they look at their plates on Christmas Day.

It comes as drivers continue to queue for petrol amid concerns over the fuel supply chain, with industry experts fearing the problems could last up to a month.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has admitted the fuel crisis could hit the festival season as he revealed the government’s reserve tanker fleet would be deployed.

Mr Black told The Times: ‘I expect Christmas to be a nightmare for consumers. There will be food on supermarket shelves, but there will be a distinct lack of choice.

“Due to labor shortages, companies have not put down the same number of turkeys or planted the same number of crops, and the shortage of truck drivers exacerbates the problem.”

Shore Capital’s Liverpool-based analyst added: “Many people who eat on Christmas Day will ask, ‘What the hell is this?’ It won’t be traditional.

Hire petty offenders to drive trucks during fuel crisis, says Raab

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has suggested that offenders who have received community sentences could be used to address the lack of truck drivers in the country amid lingering concerns about fuel shortages.

Mr Raab, who became justice minister during Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent reshuffle, has rejected Labor’s call to issue 100,000 migrant visas to supply enough drivers.

The former foreign minister said the move would make the country dependent on labor from abroad in the long term, suggesting instead that the gap could be filled in other ways.

“We have been getting inmates and offenders into volunteering and unpaid work,” Mr Raab told The Spectator, in comments from The Times. ‘If there are shortages, why not encourage them to do paid work that benefits the economy, society?

“If you give people skin in the game, give them something to lose, if you give them some hope, they’re much less likely to repeat themselves.”

“Maybe they eat different meats and roasted nuts. And if the CO2 problem (carbon dioxide) does not solve, expect that beer and carbonated soft drinks will be scarce and much more expensive.’

He said Christmas “will generally be much more expensive” and predicted that problems with shipping could lead to shortages of toys, bicycles, sofas and electronic goods.

Mr Black also accused David Kennedy, the director-general for food at the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for being “a disgrace” – and bemoaned what he described as a “mismanagement of the economy”.

It comes after Mr. Kwarteng was asked if the fuel crisis situation would continue in the run-up to Christmas, saying: ‘I’m not guaranteeing anything; I’m just saying I think the situation is stabilizing.’

On Sunday, Kate Martin, president of the Traditional Farm-fresh Turkey Association (TFTA), warned Britain of a shortage of Christmas turkeys amid unprecedented demand and a shortage of farm workers.

She said that while small farms that use local workers and sell directly to customers have been less affected, post-Brexit supermarket supplies will likely be hit by a shortage of skilled European workers.

The TFTA represents approximately 40 farms that produce free-range birds that meet the ‘Golden’ turkey quality mark. It said some poultry farms have already received five times more orders this year than at the same time in 2020.

Tesco warned that a shortage of deliverers, leaving shelves empty, could lead to panic buying in the run-up to Christmas.

The government has announced a temporary visa regime for 5,000 truck drivers and 5,500 poultry workers on three-month contracts to keep the shelves stocked with turkeys and address fuel supply problems.

It comes as Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab has suggested that offenders who have received community sentences could be used to address the lack of truck drivers in the country amid lingering concerns about fuel shortages.

Long queues for petrol at an Asda in Bristol this morning as the fuel supply crisis continues

Long queues for petrol at an Asda in Bristol this morning as the fuel supply crisis continues

Vehicles lined up to refuel at a London petrol station this morning during the supply crisis

Vehicles lined up to refuel at a London petrol station this morning during the supply crisis

Panic buying fueled by concerns that a lack of truck drivers would prevent supplies from reaching the fuel pumps has led to long queues and aggression at petrol stations in recent days.

Shore Capital retail analyst Clive Black said turkeys could be substituted for roasted nuts

Shore Capital retail analyst Clive Black said turkeys could be substituted for roasted nuts

Mr Raab, who became justice minister during Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent reshuffle, has rejected Labor’s call to issue 100,000 migrant visas to supply enough drivers.

The former foreign minister said the move would make the country dependent on labor from abroad in the long term, suggesting instead that the gap could be filled in other ways.

It comes at a time when motorists say there is still not enough fuel, despite the latest survey by the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) of its members that just over one in four had dried up, up from more than a third on Tuesday. .

Ministers said they expected the situation to improve further, with the first troops operating tankers expected to appear on the road “within a few days.”

Some roads around London have been jammed as motorists chased stations with fuel, some with petrol cans, plastic pitchers and water bottles to stock, and there were even reports of violence in a handful of places.

PRA director Gordon Balmer said the service station staff were subjected to a ‘high level’ of physical and verbal abuse by frustrated motorists.

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