Massive food exporter to suffer domestic shortages

In the Times, yesterday:

Scottish shoppers will have “a lot less domestic food to eat” if the UK cannot end Brexit labour shortages, a farm leader has warned.

Scott Walker, chief executive of the National Farmers Union (NFU), has been lobbying for an emergency visa regime to get EU workers back in to fields and food factories.

However, he said yesterday that consumers in Scotland were likely to see less on their plates from domestic producers — and less variety in shops — because of complications after the departure from the European Union.

Surely, there will be plenty? See this from December 2020:

New figures from the Scottish Government reveal that in the first nine months of this year, Scottish food and drink export sales were down £1.1bn on the same period in 2019.

In percentage terms, Scottish exports were down by 22.4% year-on-year.

The contraction in Scottish food exports was seen in all categories except animal feed and live animals, with exports of fish and seafood seeing large decreases – down £112m – compared to the first to third quarters of 2019.

So, if it’s not getting exported, we can just buy it cheap locally?

There’s plenty of it:

Scotland accounts for 29 per cent of all UK food and drink sales to overseas markets.

29%? That’ll be a bit more than our share of the population? 8%? So, nearly 4 times?


13 thoughts on “Massive food exporter to suffer domestic shortages

  1. There is a need in the UK economy for more labour than is presently available.
    People from Europe were fulfilling that need to an extent but now have to be replaced by others.
    The question is,where are the Tories going to get this labour force from?
    There is a myth,much loved by Tory supporters,that there is an untapped source of labour from those who loaf around collecting benefits from “hard working” tax payers and that all they require is a bit of “encouragement” to take on some of the low paid jobs.
    Well,now is the time to put that to the test.
    Put up or shut up.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “”So, if it’s not getting exported, we can just buy it cheap locally?””

    No you can’t.

    At least that has been my experience. For the past 6 to 8 weeks there have been times, too many times perhaps, when I have not been able to get Scottish salmon fillets in my local supermarket. Other types of fish have also been unavailable at various times throughout this period.

    It is not just a shortage of delivery drivers but food processors as well. Fish farms in Scotland are not that ‘local’ and still need delivery drivers and food processor plants.

    At every stage from catching the fish, harvesting the crop to processing it and getting it into the shops there are problems. Most are Brexit related but some are Covid related. Food processing plants provide the perfect incubator for the virus and are often hit by staff shortages because of Covid outbreaks.

    I also have to add that my personal experience has been that in some cases there has been a decline in the quality of some foodstuffs.

    So not a straightforward ‘if we cannot export it we’ll eat it instead’.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Can’t get my Scottish Crowdie cheese now, 😦
      Presuming the distribution of foods is a problem due to lack of drivers, mainly due to England forcing Scotland out of the EU. Quality of vegetables is sometimes appalling and at times really expensive, it’s been stored too long before it reaches the shops. We need more community growing projects and more allotments, also more land should be taken back for crofts etc. Our growing season is ending soon, for most things, Scotland could have huge polytunnels however.

      It would be really good to see a map of what is now grown (vegetables and oats etc) in Scotland, and where there are gaps, to get on with filling those asap.

      Maybe the ‘British army’ could be deployed to go pick fruit and veg surely, make themselves useful! Seriously why is the EngGov not doing that, get the army out to pick the veg! All the veg that has literally rotted in farmers’ fields in England is utterly criminal.
      Brexit is already a disaster and it’s going to get much worse, Scotland, get the heck away from your neighbour, pronto!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Scottish growers have managed to extend the growing season for things like strawberries which thanks to the changes in how they are grown – in planters raised up off the ground and in polytunnels – you can now buy them well into September. I bought some Blairgowrie strawberries last week from our local greengrocers.

        Your point about growing locally is well made. I grew up in the 1950s in Stenhousemuir/Larbert. There were at least two sizeable market gardens in the area as well as a commercial tomato grower and one of the local greengrocers had his own greenhouses where he grew produce which he sold in his shop.

        All gone now and the houses built on the land. The houses were no doubt needed but other land should/could have been set aside for growing stuff.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Easy peasy all this
    Never mind all the chattering Etonian scum yapping away,who know everything but understand nothing
    Here is the universal reality
    1.EU hgv drivers or more importantly those of them who are owner drivers or self employed
    Who of them in their right mind would
    Bring their person far less their truck to
    The UK with all the problems that entails especially if you own the truck
    Big big clue China who have over 80% of the worlds shipping containers
    Were charging £ 4000 for a container to go to the UK pre covid , are now charging Yes Hold Hold Hold for it
    Demanding £ 42000 for it
    Why other than chaos in the market from covid They know the massive problems that when such container is emptied in the UK then the problems really begin with any filling of that container and shipping to the EU and many other countries who have trade deals with the EU having to accept goods that they require to incorporate any of into their own manufactured/processed goods destined for the EU
    In full knowledge that major problems arise with those goods arriving in the EU
    which can end up in considerable delay
    Thereby leading to the planned onward journey’s of the containers future schedules. Becoming chaotic and the knock on effect using all containers
    You will hear none of this in UK press but plenty of in Chinese specialist media sources
    Now most foreign countries have serious problems accepting containers with UK exports, especially if the container contains a mixed bag of goods from many
    Different UK sources
    It takes only one small pallet that does not meet EU standards with regards the required paperwork ,then the fun begins
    All is dependant on the forces of nature which in turn cares not for market forces or the whims of stupid politicians
    Enough said you work it out for yourselves why it is so bloody obvious
    Why this matter can but only get worse and worse requiring UK markets to adapt
    Accordingly all which will require considerable changes and more importantly time only resulting overall in very poor outcomes

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The Tory millionaire farmers and fishermen must be regretting voting for Brexit now as their livelihoods go down the drain. Warned time and time again. The chaos and shambles unfolding.

    Scotland is self sufficient in food and energy. Sometimes the products go down south to distribution centres be process and then come back. A total waste of time and money. Supermarket mismanagement. People can buy local. There are plenty of facilities and premises, often delivering.

    If the charges for containers are too much. The goods will not be transported or sold because of cost, The problem in the EU is goods are now taxed as outside the EU framework. The taxes and transport cost more than the ordered goods. EU membership brings lower tariffs and less red tape.

    The Tory fools were warned time and time again. They just illegally used migration issues to get elected. Now the chickens are not coming home to roost. There will be no turkeys for Christmas. The EU migrant workers have left.

    Shortage of fuel. Petrol prices are rising. Oil prices are rising, Reportedly up to $90 a barrel. A bonanza in the North Sea. It’s a foul wind that does not blow any good.


    1. Gordon
      Respectively i must correct you on Tory millionaire farmers
      Why because the vast majority have considerable acerage of Grade 1 arable lands
      Which in main produce grains that are traded on world grain market terms set by Chigaco
      Believe me they are well and truly deeply implicated in the Brexit debacle
      When you come down the pecking order of farming land particularly in Scotland and Wales then the land holdings are far smaller but a disproportinate acerage of grade 2 arable and LFA (Less favoured land )
      By its very nature it is suitable mainly for mixed agri,beef and sheep production
      And such is very seriously impacted by Brexit which is becoming more and more obvious daily
      So how does this affect the Tory land Barons in the South of Uk
      1.Most smaller farmers are invariably indebted to the banks
      2.Not if but when these farms get into ever increasing difficulty in servicing their bank debts to the banks
      3.The price of land begins to fall untill the secured assets drop below the amount owed
      4.The banks foreclose and recover their secured debt
      5.The price of such land continues to fall
      6.The Tory land barons come in with cash when price is rock bottom
      7.They then sit and wait until pre planned Westminster legislation enacted
      Land value recovers,they either hold and see their family assest base grow
      Or they cash in all or pockets off and hedge invest with their profits to gain even larger returns
      This is a pre planned enactment of a 2nd Highland clearances
      But remember the 1st clearances not only were in the Highlands and Islands but also extensive in The Borders and less favourable areas of Scotland
      All this one of the main reasons such venomious oppostion to Indy as no doubt
      Pretty quickly Scotland shall pass land reform legislation that puts a end to such acts of blatant robbery
      Take about Power grabs
      Tis also a land grab that is planned as no matter what we would still have to negoiate a compensation sum to stupidly reward the thieves
      Like all games Westminster plays they only ever allow you call tails as they toss their double headed coins
      No matter what they win
      Wake up from your slumber everyone of us and be rid of this scum for once and all

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The average farmer is sixty and the average income is £29,000. Average Scottish average. Whether that is clear or has to be used for household income? Some farmers can live off the land. Income from produces or surplus farm energy. Many relied on the EU subsidies. Many farming families have outside employment to boost household income. P/T jobs,. Some in nursing or retail etc.

    Many youngsters are not interested in taking over the farm. They prefer other jobs which can pay more and are not so time consuming. It is usually when the farm is sold that profits can be realised. Often divided between family members involved. Some farmers are hocked up to the bank. Brexit will hit them harder is interest rates go up. To try and curb inflation. Limit borrowing. Or that is the theory.

    Land is exempt from tax to keep farms together. Larger farms often produce more. The EU subsidies were introduced after the war to stop starvation in Europe and influence production. There will be a farming change as farms are sold off and new owners take over. Often with new ideas. Some farms do B&B or have farm shops to bring in extra cash.

    It was the wealthier farmers and fishermen who were often quoted supporting Brexit. Now realise it was a bad mistake. Jimmy Buchan once a Tory candidate. Now regrets it. There are two wealthy families who are dominant in the fishing industry. They have access to the main quota.s.

    The fishing industry were throwing back dead fish for years. The EU brought in quotas to preserve stock. The quotas were being increased as the fishermen agreed to use bigger nets. Then Brexit. Fishing industry were short of staff. Workers came from the EU and overseas. Peterhead was like Latvia. So many migrant workers. Many have left.

    There has always been offshore and local Oil industry related work. Low unemployment. Now employment in renewables. A vast offshore wind turbine development under way. There were plans for a gas CCS project but Westminster reneged on the funding.


  6. Five wealthy family control 1/3 of the fishing industry. Predominately in Scotland. Buchan and Tait. The Wood family are still involved in fishing. A fishing connection based in NI sold a boat and made £7million a year from the fishing interest (quota) while waiting for another boat. According to a Greenpeace Report. There was involvement in black fishing. Landing illegal catches. A scandal some years ago. The quotas are administrated under Scottish Marine. Google it.

    Most of the land in Scotland not arable is owned by a few (foreign) landowners. Scotland has less arable land. Much of it is hilly suitable for sheep. Tourism benefits from the ‘right to roam’. Many tourists come to Scotland bringing in £Billions. Some of the biggest SNP donations came from Turriff farmers. Not all are Tories. One SNP member in Holyrood is a farmer. JimFairlie MSP


  7. Scotland was depopulated by Westminster policies. The Clearances. The £10 passage to Australia. Many people migrated. A 40million diaspora. Cub if the land has remained in the same hands for centuries. Handed down. One aristocrat owns all the land down from Braemar to Perth. Burnett Tory MSP owns most of Deeside. Landowners control Aberdeenshire Council. Same in the Highlands. Vast estates owned by a few people.

    Land is exempt from tax to keep farms together. It is rateable. Charlie pays £2Million tax on £20Million. 10%? No corporation tax or capital gains tax. Vast commercial interests. The Royals paid no tax for years. Making them fabulously wealthy. Much of their political interfering affairs are kept secret under the Official Secrets Act.


  8. Much of the land in Scotland has remained in the same hands for centuries passed down. If there is no heir it can go to a distant cousin in the South. The Mar Estate. There have been land movement and land acts guaranteed rights to crofting or common ground. A ‘right to roam’.

    The wealthiest person in Britain. The Duke of Westminster owns half of London. His father suffered from depression died in his sixties. Dan Snow is married to his sister. Vehemently opposed to Scottish Independence. Darce, the Daily Mail, Brexiteer owns an estate near Ullapool. Produced electricity/fuel. Worth £Million a year.


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