British stores lack mineral water, milk and pasta. The shortage of goods is attributed to Brexit, the pandemic and the climate crisis.
HERTFORTSHIRE (E24): Rows of empty store shelves have been marked British media In recent weeks, but at Sainsbury’s supermarket in St Albans in Hertfordshire, on the outskirts of London, John Sharp, 90, still finds two of the last bottles of carbonated water.
Yes, I was probably lucky then, Sharp says with a smile behind the disposable mouthpiece.
He has realized that lately there has been a shortage of products, but he tells E24 that it is his wife who buys the most. So these are the first empty shelves you’ve seen in a long time.
– We take it very calmly. I lived through WWII, this is nothing, Sharp says with a twinkle in his eye.
Missing conductors and CO2
The reason for the shortage of goods is complex. About two weeks ago, Reuters reported a CO2 shortage due to high gas prices.
At the same time, Tesco stated that they experienced a bottleneck in deliveries, but that was mainly due to a lack of heavy haulage drivers.
This labor shortage is again attributed to both the covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, as many of the drivers have traveled home, mainly to Eastern Europe, due to the pandemic, and do not want to return due to the low wages or may not due to the new rules for labor immigration.
Labor immigration has long fallen
The influx of workers from the EU started to decline in 2016, when the British voted to leave the union. This contributed to the fact that even before the pandemic there were worker shortages in various industries, NTB wrote last week.
According to the news agency, the interest group of British transport companies Road Haulage Association (RHA) has estimated that 60,000 drivers were already missing in the summer of 2019.
It is now estimated that at least 100,000 drivers are missing out of a total of 600,000.
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Together with Tesco, Aldi and Asda, Sainsbury’s is one of the largest supermarkets in the UK.
On Thursday of this week he wrote The independent that the last shortage was pasta. The reason this time around is an extremely dry and hot summer in Canada, which is one of the largest producers of durum wheat in the world, which in turn is used for pasta production.
Jason Bull, CEO of the supplier group Eurostar Commodities, tells the newspaper that he has seen nothing like it in his 17 years in the industry and blames climate change.
– [Varmen i Canada] it is combined with the opposite: in Europe and France it has been extremely rainy, so the wheat crops have not been able to be ground. So there is a bad situation on both sides of the Atlantic, says Bull.
At Sainsbury’s in Sankt Albans, selected pasta varieties are also out of stock, but far from all.
A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman wrote in an email to E24 that they are working hard to fill the shelves. However, they do not want to comment on the cause of the shortage of goods or how long they expect it to last.
– Our colleagues and suppliers work hard to ensure that customers can find everything they need when shopping with us. Availability in some product categories may vary, but options are always available and stores continue to receive daily deliveries, he writes.
Sainsbury’s does not want to comment on the type of goods or the extent of the reported supplier crisis.
However, both Tesco and Sainsbury’s responded to a frustrated customer tweet in August, even then about the lack of carbonated beverages.
At the time, the Tesco spokesman blamed the lack of heavy transport drivers.
John Sharp, 90, who worked in the construction industry before retiring, says milk was in short supply a week ago.
– The wife said he was empty of milk, but he has already given up. So we live well with the situation, he says.