Great Britain may be facing its worst food crisis in 75 years. Shortages of chicken and turkey are already noticeable and worse is yet to come. The chicken and wider food industry have been hit by a perfect storm.
That warning comes from Ranjit Singh Boparan, often nicknamed Britain’s ‘chicken king’ as founder, owner and president of one of the largest chicken and food producers, the 2 Sisters Food Group. His company processes over 10 million birds a week in the UK, the Netherlands and Poland, and supplies a third of all the poultry products eaten in the UK every day. The company also produces ready-meals, often with chicken, as well as beef products.
But that business is facing serious problems now, Boparan says. The wealthy businessman from Birmingham doesn’t seek the limelight and hardly appears in the media. Earlier this summer, however, he didn’t mince his words with a warning that Britain is on the verge of its most serious food crisis since World War II. “We are finding ourselves confronted by unique, era-defining challenges for the food sector. The supply of chicken and turkey is under threat. Things have to change or we’ll see the worst food shortages in 75 years.”
“I have seen lots of change over the years – but nothing compares to now. The use of the term ‘perfect storm’ has become something of a cliché but never has that been truer than it is today. No one could possibly have predicted that this toxic cocktail of factors would come together at this time. It started with the pandemic, but since May this year the operating environment has deteriorated so profoundly that I can see no other outcome than major food shortages in the UK. Our retail partners and the wider supply chain have worked together closer than ever before to ensure we retain food supply and this is of huge credit to everyone. But we are at a crisis point,” he warns.
By Ruud Peys / Poultry World