The UK’s largest poultry seller has warned that the price of chicken is set to rise because of supply chain problems.
Ronald Kers, CEO of 2 Sisters Food Group, stated that “in reality, food is too cheap.”
Mr Kers told the BBC that the price of chicken, the most popular meat in the UK, should be raised to reflect the additional costs the company is facing.
The company operates 600 farms and 16 factories across the United Kingdom.
Mr Kers told the BBC’s Today programme that the company had to absorb additional costs as a result of Brexit, Covid, labour shortages, and logistics issues.
He went on to say that the “significant” increases in packaging, energy, and CO2 were also “bulking up the price of food.”
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Ranjit Boparan, the founder of 2 Sisters Food Group, warned on Wednesday that chicken prices would rise by 10%.
“How can it be that a whole chicken costs less than a pint of beer?” he wondered.
Mr. Boparan stated that low prices were “coming to an end” and that “transparent, honest pricing” was required due to rising costs.
The company’s CO2 costs have increased by more than 500% in three weeks, while its energy costs have increased by more than 450% year on year.
It also stated that farm feed costs have increased by 15%, with commodity costs in the farming process increasing by around 20%.
Mr Kers told the BBC: “If you look at the price of chicken now, it is £3.50, while it was £5 a decade ago – it should have gone up.”
“People on farms are struggling – we don’t have enough people in our factories, farms, or HGV drivers, so we’re seeing empty shelves and reduced choice,” he added.
“There is no margin anywhere in the supply chain.”
The government’s visa scheme for short-term workers enabled the company to bring in an additional 700 people in order to secure the volume required for Christmas, but Mr Kers said the scheme came “a little too late and a little too short.”
2 Sisters sells 60% of all turkeys in the country, and while Mr Kers stated that the overall supply chain was “clearly very fragile,” he advised customers to buy “normally.”
The company produces roughly one-third of all poultry products consumed in the UK and processes over 10 million birds per week.