Brexit: the shortage of truck drivers impacts British milk producers

On some British farms the milk is lost. In question, the shortage of truck drivers. Before Brexit, many truck driver positions were held by European nationals. With Brexit, many have returned to their countries on the continent.

Liters of milk had to be thrown away.

“A phone call to say they couldn’t come and get him, that was a surprise ... “, said Henry Bloxham, éleveur.

Now this Staffordshire farmer is worried. He suffers from the direct consequences of Brexit, the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU.

If our milk is not collected, it will go down the drain and we will never see it again. It was a bit of a mad rush trying to find another destination for the milk. It puts a lot of pressure on every farmer to try to manage this and we don’t have the money to try to respond.”

80 km further north, in the heart of the Peak District mountains, organic milk from the Jersey cow herd at Boam Farm is now sold direct to consumers.

Paul Boam seeks to cut out the middlemen to ensure that his milk ends up in the refrigerator of the inhabitants of the region.

“We have diversified by going directly to the customer, explains breeder Paul Boam. We deliver milk directly to other families. In fact, we are taking our own destiny into our own hands. “

European products hard to find

Jack, Paul’s son, started making ice cream before Brexit and spent time in Italy learning the art of great ice cream. But this booming company is also today a victim of Brexit. The organic milk their cows produce will be used to make top quality ice cream from the best ingredients from the European continent. Ingredients that are more difficult to find.

“For us it is obvious that the price will go up now, regrets Jack Boam, ice cream maker. Hazelnuts come from Italy like pistachios, even chocolate comes from Belgium. It is more difficult to get hold of it “.

According to the farmers’ union the situation is “very worrying” and it cannot “last”.

The government says most solutions are likely to come from industry, with progress already made in testing and hiring, and a major effort is being made to improve the wages and working conditions of truck drivers.

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