UK's exit from Brussels causing problems for sprouts


With the annual emergence of Black Friday, Christmas decorations, festive coffee shop cups and of course, the battle of the retailers Christmas adverts must mean that December is here already!

For retailers, this time of year is big business with shoppers spending £480m more in 2016 in the run up to the festive season in comparison to the year before according to data Kantar Worldpanel. This equating to a 1.8% increase in spending, the largest growth in three years.

The bad news is that the cost of Christmas dinner has substantially risen for 2017, with Good Housekeeping Magazine’s annual festive food survey finding that Christmas dinner will cost 16% more than it would have in 2016.

This is a direct result of the weakening sterling following the Brexit vote. The consequences from Brexit has been unquestionably far-reaching, but very few expected it to reach as far as this year’s Christmas dinner table.

However, British farmers are now voicing their concerns around a shortage of the iconic Christmas vegetable, the brussel sprout, with concern that other seasonal vegetables could be affected. These worries are centred from the shortage of seasonal workers from Europe leaving farms struggling to fill thousands of harvesting jobs.

“Growers are very worried about where the labour is going to come from” said Ali Capper, the National Farmers Union’s horticulture board chairman.

The NFU estimates that roughly 12 per cent of the 60,000 seasonal fruit and veg jobs necessary have not been filled. This as a result of the falling pound has made wages worth less when exchanged for currencies such as the euro, Polish zloty and Bulgarian lev.

Farmers may be faced with raising pay if the shortage of labour continues, which will continue to cause a knock on effect to the supermarkets with increased prices.

By George Craig | Junior Marketing Executive

Published: 1st December 2017

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