NPA members urged to fill in labour shortage survey

NPA members are being urged to fill a short survey to gather information pass onto the Government about the labour shortages affecting the whole industry. 

The NPA is working, alongside other farming and food industry bodies, to raise the issue of serious labour shortages affecting producers, processors, hauliers and the allied industries with the Home Office.

Following concerns raised at the recent NPA Pig Industry Group (PIG) meeting about the situation, the NPA has created a short survey, which it is asking members to complete by this Tuesday, July 6.

NPA members can access the survey via the NPA website.

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.

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, which is also available on the NPA website, and return it to [email protected]defra.gov.uk.

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

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About The Author

Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.