A traditional Christmas dinner is a much-loved part of the festivities for most families. Thoughts of crispy roast potatoes, sweet parsnips and a big juicy turkey have our mouths watering from the first day of advent. Worryingly the price of your Christmas bird and other trimmings is likely to rise this year.
Yield is much lower
The long hot summer and warmer autumn which we have all enjoyed has affected crops such as sprouts, potatoes and onions. The yield is much lower though demand remains the same and this will lead to price rises in supermarkets and on farmer’s markets.
Wheat crops have also been impacted by the glorious weather, the crop is smaller than in previous years and a turkey farmer, who uses wheat to feed his flock, will have to pay £25 extra per tonne. This extra cost will be passed on to the average customer looking to buy a succulent centrepiece for the Christmas table.
The hike in the price of turkeys
Brexit, the falling pound and wage rises are also to blame for the hike in the price of turkeys and other roast dinner staples this year and the next. The weaker pound has meant the price of imported grain and birds is higher and the cost of hiring the mainly eastern European farm workers is more expensive. Farmer’s are having to guarantee an exchange rate with the native currencies of their staff to attract the high quality, reliable people they rely on every year.
The future looks as bleak as a mid-winter day with the changes that Brexit may bring. The farming industry, especially the sectors with peak times such as turkey farming, rely heavily on the labour of EU workers. Any restrictions placed on their travel and earning potential will lead to some 70% of some farmer’s workforce staying away.
Even more price increases
Attitudes towards economic migrants brought about by Brexit has seen some negativity which has been felt and widely reported in the UK and Europe. It’s not difficult to see why workers would stay away and find seasonal work in much more friendly parts of the EU. This would leave a massive labour gap, fewer turkeys processed, a reduction of availability and even more price increases.
It remains to be seen whether the hard-core traditionalists will be put off by their Christmas favourites by rising costs. Trends do change though and potentially in ten years the nation will have swapped to a totally different type of meal to eat while the Queen gives her speech.