ECONOMY

Haribo struggling to deliver sweets to UK shops over driver shortage

H

aribo has said that it is struggling to deliver its sweets to shops in the UK because of a shortage of lorry drivers.

The German confectionery giant said that like many other manufacturers and retailers, it was “experiencing challenges” that were impacting its supplies.

But in a statement, the company said it was “working with partners across the food and drink industry” to address the problem.

The haulage industry has long blamed the pandemic for thousands of unfilled HGV driver jobs that have in turn disrupted the delivery of their products.

It also believes Brexit is playing a major part in the shortage, according to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), with many drivers unsure of their rights to work in the UK.

There is currently a shortfall of about 60,000 drivers, according to the RHA and it estimates that some 30,000 HGV driving tests did not take place last year because of Covid.

Typically, 72,000 candidates train to become HGV drivers, with 40,000 passing. But only 15,000 were able to complete training last year, the organisation said.

Just last month RHA’s Chief Executive, Richard Burnett told Roads Minister, Baroness Vere that there needed to be “clear and urgent” action because shortage was “getting worse”.

The Association also wrote to the Prime Minister warning that many drivers had returned to their country of origin during extended periods of lockdown with the vast majority not returning.

Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, recently said: “Retailers are aware of a fall in HGV driver numbers, resulting in minor disruption to some supply chains.

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