Football fans could drink pubs dry while watching England this weekend

Football fans could drink pubs dry while watching England this weekend amid fears national driver shortage will hit booze supplies

  • Fears that beer and fresh food could be in short supply
  • British drivers have been barred from training and taking HGV tests in lockdown
  • Wholesalers are failing to make deliveries ahead of busiest weekend of the year  

Celebrating football fans risk drinking pubs and stores dry this weekend because of possible beer shortages.

Deliveries of beer, fresh food and barbecue essentials to pubs, convenience stores and supermarkets are being hit by a national lack of drivers.

The Campaign for Pubs and the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) say wholesalers are failing to make deliveries ahead of the busiest weekend of the year. 

The situation has been exacerbated by a shortage of kegs and delays in deliveries of nitrogen, which is used to add fizz to some brews.

Deliveries of fresh produce and milk to supermarkets have been interrupted or delayed, meaning tonnes of food has been dumped

A national shortage of around 60,000 drivers is the key issue, but it is part of a wider crisis across the supply chain from farms to food processors. The impact of Brexit and coronavirus means the UK has lost thousands of workers from the EU. 

At the same time, British drivers have been barred from training and taking tests to drive HGVs due to lockdown restrictions. The Federation of Wholesale Distributors argues the situation is so bad the Government should put the Army on standby to help.

Greg Mulholland, campaign director of the Campaign for Pubs, said: ‘The England quarter-final on Saturday night will be a great night for England’s pubs, but with some distribution problems, some publicans are worried they won’t get all their beer supplies or fresh food.’

The Campaign for Pubs and the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) say wholesalers are failing to make deliveries ahead of the busiest weekend of the year. Harry Kane is seen celebrating a goal above

An insider at a major pub restaurant chain said: ‘The ongoing shortage of delivery drivers is putting considerable strain on supply chains for hospitality businesses across the UK.’ Chief executive of the ACS, James Lowman, said: ‘We are calling on the Government to help by temporarily extending driver hours.’

Deliveries of fresh produce and milk to supermarkets have been interrupted or delayed, meaning tonnes of food has been dumped.

The British Meat Processors Association, British Poultry Council and Tesco have all demanded urgent action from the Government to protect food supplies.

A national shortage of around 60,000 drivers is the key issue, but it is part of a wider crisis across the supply chain from farms to food processors

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