Staff shortages see UK meat carcasses sent to EU for butchering

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UK meat producers have started sending carcasses to the EU for butchering before re-importing them as they continue to combat a labour shortage.

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) say producers are sending beef to the Republic of Ireland amid local shortages of butchers.

Meanwhile, pork producers are set to begin sending pigs to the Netherlands for butchering and packing.

Meat exported in this way cannot be labelled as British pork for UK sale.

According to the BMPA, the move will cost an additional £1,500 for each lorry load of carcasses. This includes transport fees, as well as Brexit customs requirements, such as an export health certificate for each consignment.

Meat exported from the UK currently undergoes checks in the EU, however, the introduction of post-Brexit import controls on food and animals products in the UK has been delayed until July 2022.

“It is what needs to be done to counteract the problem,” a spokesperson for BMPA told the BBC.

The BMPA said: “Immigration rules need to be relaxed so we can get experienced people without having to train them to help solve the immediate short-term problem.

“Then we need to be attracting, recruiting, and training people in the UK. This is not an instant fix, however, as we are looking at 18 months or longer to train these people.

“The government also needs to add key level courses to the support they have already given. As far as we can see there are no food related courses, or they are not the ones we need.”

 

 

 

By LaToya Harding / BBC

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