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‘No Christmas Trees, No Christmas Trees’ Another Shortage May Be On The Way

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at September 26, 2021

As the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson issues 5000 short term visas to mitigate the ongoing lorry-driver crisis currently impacting multiple sectors, including fuel – a further industry has issued a warning of potential shortages.

Christmas trees may be in short supply, and when available it could be at a much higher price ticket for consumers.

Mark Rofe – owner of has told The Sun newspaper “ We’ve spoken to our UK growers and they are all facing the same challenges. They are seeing an increase in demand for their product, especially from clients who would usually import their trees from Europe, but are keen to avoid any red tape that could increase costs or cause delays for what is, of course, a highly seasonal and time-sensitive business.”

And some manufacturers of artificial trees have already highlighted that they are increasing prices, after blaming higher than usual shipping costs. The CEO of Balsam Hill, California has explained that due to “paying as much as 300% more per shipping container this year” they will have to raise prices, but may not be able to increase them enough to cover the company’s own costs.

The global supply chain shortage has seen retailers suffer months of disruption in shipping, created by a perfect storm of factory shutdowns, port delays and other pressure on the supply chain.

The UK has also additional issues with a HGV driver crisis which is already impacting many products and may result in a limit of real fir tree supplies from Europe.

Furthermore an increase in price of raw materials required for the movement of the real trees, such as fertiliser and pallets, could mean that consumers who do buy real, may also end up paying more for their trees.

Newspaper headlines over recent months have suggested supply issues in many sectors from garden sheds to toys and food and drink. And there seems to be very different views from industry and government as to what the real root cause is.

A Grant Thornton report into the availability issues the ‘Establishing the labour availability issues of the UK Food and Drink Sector’ paper, explains that (at the time of reporting) there were almost 1 million job vacancies in the UK, half of which were in the food and drink sector.

It states in the report that the sector is”…under immense pressure. Severe disruption in the availability of workers impacted by the reduction in free movement of people coupled with the unprecedented disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic has created a chronic labour shortage across the whole supply chain. These shortages have created complexities and difficulties for the sector as a whole and urgent action is now required to try and tackle these head on to ensure continuity of UK food production, and minimise further food price inflation.”

Whilst the crisis has also spread to petrol supplies throughout the weekend, UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps still dismissed that Brexit was the main issue, suggesting that the “main reason” was the pandemic and resulting lockdowns which had prevented 40,000 driver tests from taking place.

The perfect storm of issues with supply and heightened demand is certainly causing a knock on effect to consumer confidence.

The Gfk consumer confidence index fell five points in September, reversing the gains since the easing of restrictions in April.

At a time when so many organizations are hoping Santa will bring a buoyant ‘golden quarter’ to survive and thrive, the reality might be fewer financial wins under the tree. That is, if you manage to get a tree to start with.


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