An Independent Review into Labour Shortages in the Food Supply Chain commissioned by Defra has been released

Jul 8, 2023

The review considers the challenges facing food and farming businesses to recruit and retain a sufficient workforce. This follows the Government Food Strategy commitment to commission an independent review to tackle labour shortages in the food supply chain.

The objective of the review is to provide industry and government with recommendations to consider the roles of automation, domestic employment and migration routes to mitigate and reverse labour shortage trends in the food supply chain.

Led by John Shropshire OBE, he said, “Understanding the current state of this vital sector is crucial in order to grasp the impacts of successive economic shocks on labour supply from new regulations, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. This review examines key challenges related to recruitment, retention, skills, automation, and the balance of trade, shedding light on the complexities faced by the industry.”

“Through collaboration and concerted efforts, we can overcome the challenges faced by the industry and create a resilient food supply chain that provides high quality and affordable food for British consumers. I trust that the findings and recommendations presented in this review will serve as a catalyst for meaningful change and support the continued growth and development of the food supply chain.”

Read the independent review in full here, and Farming Minister Mark Spencer’s response here.