The not-so-happy world of Haribo – how the lorry driver shortage is impacting UK food supplies

Fri 2 Jul 2021
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

haribo

British sugar fans could be faced with shortages of some of their favourite sweets as German confectionery giant Haribo struggles to find enough drivers to deliver its gummy goods.

According to the BBC, the manufacturer of Tangfastics, Goldbears and Star Mix is “experiencing challenges” that are hampering supplies.

Missed tests and Brexit

As reported recently in the IOE&IT Daily Update, the UK is facing a shortage of around 100,000 HGV drivers due to Covid test cancellations and East European drivers leaving the UK due following Brexit.

The UK government held an emergency meeting with retailers, logistics groups and wholesalers this week to discuss possible solutions to the driver shortage, reports Retail Gazette.

Officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have considered relaxing restrictions on drivers’ working hours and increasing capacity for HGV driving tests and training.

Flat out

Haribo has told customers it is “working flat out to manage the situation”, according to The Grocer, but has been forced to cancel upcoming promotions.

Other companies are also being affected by the ongoing shortage of lorry drivers, including Hain Daniels, Suntory and Danone.

A wholesaler told the Grocer that the situation was “a real crisis” and called for “emergency measures to sort out this food crisis”.

Worse to come?

Supermarkets have also warned of “pinch points” as the school holidays begin in a few weeks, coinciding with the planned ending of Covid restrictions, reports ITV.

George Wright, M&S’s commercial director for food, spoke of “the potential for shortages at Christmas”.