Shop bosses must import turkeys from POLAND to avoid Christmas shortage as bird flu sends price of home-raised poultry skyrocketing
- The price of a turkey wreath centerpiece for Christmas has increased by up to 26%
- 1.4 million turkeys died or were culled in Britain’s bird flu outbreak
- Farmers also face crippling cost increases caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
- Stores should now import from Poland and Brazil, but costs have doubled
The price of a turkey wreath centerpiece for Christmas dinner has risen by up to 26 percent thanks to higher farming costs and the impact of bird flu.
It emerged this week that around 1.4 million turkeys have died or been culled following Britain’s worst outbreak of bird flu.
Farmers are also facing crippling cost increases caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has driven up the price of energy and animal feed.
This week, industry leaders suggested that up to half of the country’s free-range Christmas turkeys – 600,000 – have been killed or culled due to bird flu, resulting in a ‘big, big shortage”.
Stores are expected to import birds from countries like Poland and, potentially, Brazil. However, the cost of these foreign birds has doubled.
The price of a turkey wreath centerpiece for Christmas dinner has risen 26% due to rising farming costs and the impact of bird flu
Search by consumer group Which? looking at the cost of a wreath of turkey this year compared to 2021, there have been increases of between 9% and 26% in large supermarkets.
His investigation looked at medium frozen turkey crowns weighing between 2.3kg and 2.5kg, with a 26% increase at Morrisons from £17.50 to £21.99; up 18% at Asda at £16.50; 16% at Aldi and Lidl at £15.49; 14% at Waitrose for £25; 13% at Tesco at £17; and 9% at Sainsbury’s at £19.
It is unclear how much of these increases will go to farmers. Some criticize department stores for not passing on a fair share of increases to products.
Experts also looked at the cost of essentials for a traditional Christmas dinner to compare prices across seven major supermarkets.
Aldi came out cheapest at £22.30 with Lidl at £22.44. Asda came in at £23.72, with Tesco at £23.82, Sainsbury’s at £26.07, Morrisons at £29.52 and Waitrose at £33.25.
The comparison was based on ten items – Medium Frozen Turkey Crown, Paxo Stuffing Mix, Potatoes, Knorr Chicken Broth, Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce, Brussels Sprouts (500g), Carrots (900g to 1kg), parsnips (500g to 600g), red cabbage (1kg), own brand premium aged Christmas pudding (454g).
Who? Retail editor Reena Sewraz said: ‘Soaring inflation will worry many households celebrating Christmas this year.’
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is warning that Britons face a “gloomy” Christmas as retail price inflation hits a new high.
Food inflation accelerated to 12.4% over the past month, with fresh food rising 14.3%. He said the prices of meat, milk, dairy products and coffee had seen particularly strong increases.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, warned: “The winter is shaping up to be getting darker as price pressures continue unabated.”
Morrisons said: ‘We are working hard to keep prices low and have invested £3m to reduce prices on over 50 Christmas products.