Challenges to UK supply chains

Written by Leigh Foster

If the shops in the UK are to remain well-stocked, the government will need to address the long-term challenges facing supply chains.

The crisis facing supply chains late in 2021 was so serious that Boris Johnson brought in a former CEO of Tesco to set a strategy to keep the goods flowing throughout the UK.  The food and drink industry has been the worst affected. We see headlines almost daily about household names such as McDonald’s, Greggs, and Nando’s, as well as the major supermarkets, running out of items with no date of when they will be available again.  To counteract this problem, in the Autumn of 2021, ministers gave in to industry pressure and set up short-term visa schemes for overseas workers, designed to plug gaps in the labour workforce in time for the busy Christmas period.  

Another issue that has caused major delays is the new checks on goods arriving in the UK from the European Union – a new world of administration for importers imposed by leaving the bloc’s single market and customs union. Again, the food and drink industry will be particularly impacted because the UK gets around two-thirds of its fruit and vegetables from the continent, for example, along with about 60 per cent of its cheese. The government decided to bring in this plethora of new paperwork in stages, with the most arduous checks coming in the latter part of 2022 creating additional worry that this will impact the supply chains and stock availability even more.

We’ve got a long road ahead before we start to see real improvements to the availability of goods across the UK. 

Why not contact Pertemps Managed Solutions if you are looking for additional resources to help cope in these challenging times.  We have talent pools that comprise thousands of candidates, along with market-leading search tools and methods to attract the best talent on the market.  Contact us on 0800 011 2783 or 


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