Meat processor flying in Irish staff to keep kill lines going

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A major meat processor has resorted to flying in Irish staff on a weekly basis to keep killing lines operational, amid serious labour shortages.

Others have been forced to sacrifice lamb lines in a bid to keep beef ones open, or have had to send carcases to Ireland for processing before bringing them back to the UK for sale, according to NFU livestock board chairman Richard Findlay.

Speaking at the first in-person NFU council meeting since the Covid-19 pandemic, he said: “They are managing on a wing and a prayer to keep going.”

Mr Findlay added the industry was currently ‘on a knife edge’, with plants operating at 15-20 per cent below capacity and margins for farmers low.

“It is a huge disappointment, as demand is there but the labour is not,” he said.

“It is a missed opportunity for the beef sector.”

 

by Hannah Binns / Farmers Guardian

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