According to purchasing company, Beacon, Brits could be in for a shortage of turkeys and increased prices for the festive fayre this Christmas.
French breeders report that high temperatures have led to eggs being lost and UK supplies taking a hit. France provides around a quarter of eggs hatched in the UK with these eggs going on to become the birds that form the centrepiece of dining tables across the country.
Supply is around 10% down on expected levels after temperatures topped 40°C in France and the impact of July and August’s hot weather in Europe together with a lack of South American product in the market impacting on fresh turkey availability.
The egg shortages come as turkey farmers also face potential cost rises from a shortage of labour partly caused by uncertainty over Brexit which has deterred workers from coming to the UK.
One of Beacon’s suppliers, Fairfax Meadows, commented: “The turkey market is on fire now with a shortage of birds in the system. Currently prices are ahead of Christmas 2018 and are not expected to ease. Now, it is anyone’s guess as to what Christmas prices will be.”
Christopher Johnson, food category manager at Beacon, commented: “Insight from our suppliers suggests that we may well see a shortage of turkeys this Christmas as the result of higher temperatures across Europe. While large retailers will have their turkey quota already assured, we may see independent retailers and hospitality businesses being hit hardest by lowered stock levels and increased prices. These price increases are also likely be felt by consumers this festive season.”