THE British Poultry Council’s (BPC) chief executive Richard Griffiths has blamed chicken shortages in restaurants such as Nando’s on government immigration policy changes post-Brexit.

This week Nando’s closed close to 50 branches and said it would reallocate staff to its chicken suppliers to help manage the labour crisis.

See also: Poultry.Network Live face-to-face conference on 16 September 2021

KFC has also said it is operating a limited menu, while McDonald’s has also recently seen chicken supply issues.

Asked if there could be shortages on supermarket shelves, Mr Griffiths told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme his members were doing everything they could to keep supply up.

But many were reporting staff vacancies of up to 16%. “This is a direct result of the limiting of immigration policies,” he said.

“We are asking the government to ease those, and also look at the skills and development arena as well to try and encourage not just non-UK but UK workers as well into the sector.”

‘Willingness or availability’

Asked if higher pay would attract UK workers, he said there was not enough “willingness or availability” of UK workers.

“We operate in areas that have generally high employment – the availability of UK labour is not there.”

2 Sisters chief executive Ranjit Singh made a similar appeal, warning that his firm faced unprecedented staffing challenges.