The UK is facing a looming chicken crisis along with more fruit and vegetable shortages.
Soaring costs are pushing many poultry farms to the brink, with some cutting the size of flocks and others weighing up whether to continue.
The British Poultry Council warned: “British poultry is at breaking point.”
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Chief executive Richard Griffiths added: “The drive to keep food affordable under exceptional market conditions where the cost of production is not being returned through the marketplace is rendering poultry meat businesses unviable.”
The National Farmers’ Union states Britain is about two-thirds self-sufficient in poultry, but industry figures fear cheaper imports from the EU are threatening their business.
Shoppers have also been warned they face more fruit and vegetable shortages as temperatures in southern Spain soared to record levels.
Fresh produce grown in Spain for UK consumption includes tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuces, broccoli and citrus fruit.
The UK growing season getting off to a late start due to cold, overcast weather has made the problem worse.
Experts at the NFU have blamed recent salad shortages on the UK’s winter reliance on imported fruit and vegetables, which left it exposed to “shock weather events”.
The NFU’s Christine McDowell said the shortages of food and veg would also be down to the rise in production costs.
She added: “British growers continue to face significant cost increases, such as energy and labour, and many simply can’t afford to keep producing food with the current returns.”
Sainsbury’s has admitted there are problems with supplies of fresh produce such as peppers and eggs.
Waitrose said: “We’re working hard with our suppliers to get our full range of peppers back on our shelves and expect stock levels to stabilise in the coming weeks.
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