Turkey sales soar by 400% as Government promises we’ll have turkey for Christmas

Fears there’ll be slim pickings on supermarket shelves are mounting (Pictures: Getty/Rex)

A leading supermarket has reported rocketing sales of turkeys with shortages of both stock and range of choice expected this Christmas.

Orders of frozen fowl are up 409% at Iceland on the same point last year.

Shoppers appear willing to take a frozen bird rather than risk missing out entirely amid industry projections that there’ll be a fifth fewer on sale this year.

Major producers have reduced consumption after Brexit cut off their supply of cheap labour, the British Poultry Council’s chief executive Richard Griffiths said.

The global energy crisis and worker shortages meanwhile threaten to limit the number of chickens and turkeys which can be humanely killed. Last month’s shutdown of two fertiliser plants left abattoirs with a lack of carbon dioxide, which is used to stun poultry and pigs.

Industry figures warned farmers are days away from a ‘mass cull’ of animals as slaughterhouses are now thought to be around 15,000 workers short of what they need to keep the supply chain moving.

Mr Griffiths also said suppliers are focussing their workers on simpler meat products.

It means three-bird roasts could be off the menu, with ready-stuffed or garnished birds in short supply.

Turkey crowns may be a go-to choice if stock of whole birds is limited (Picture: Getty Images/Image Source)
Sausages wrapped in bacon is a Christmas luxury favourite (Picture: Getty/iStockphoto)

A turkey farmer told the Financial Times turkeys are likely to be imported from France and Poland in a bid to save the British Christmas dinner.

Some families might even turn to beef or lamb if early turkey sales continue at a fast pace and choice becomes scarce.

The crisis at abattoirs has caused further concerns that Christmas Day meals may be served up without stuffing and pigs in blankets.

Roast beef for Christmas, anyone? (Picture: Getty)
Former culture secretary Oliver Dowden is now the Tory party chairman (Picture: PA)

Senior Conservatives have moved to reassure Brits amid the uncertainty, with party chairman Oliver Dowden promising people would be able to get turkeys for Christmas.

He told Sky News’ Trevor Phillips on Sunday: ‘We will make sure that people have their turkeys for Christmas.’

‘I know that, for environment secretary George Eustice, this is absolutely top of his list.’

Yesterday prime minister Boris Johnson admitted that he was told months ago by the Road Haulage Association that the UK’s supply chain could be in major trouble.

MORE : Pigs in blankets under threat as UK is ‘hurtling towards acute welfare disaster’

MORE : Boris Johnson admits food and fuel shortages could last until Christmas

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