Brexit, floods and Covid could lead to shortages of chips and roast potatoes in UK

Brexit, floods and Covid could lead to shortages of chips and roast potatoes in UK (Photo: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Experts are predicting that the UK could face a shortage of chips and roast potatoes, as a result of the major flooding which hit Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands last month. 

A report by a leading catering buying firm has highlighted the recent floods alongside Brexit, labour shortages, inflation and Covid as drivers of a potato shortage.

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The UK could be hit with a potato shortage which would lead to supermarkets and shops running out of oven chips, as a result of a ‘perfect storm’ of issues affecting supply chains.

Christmas roasties could be in doubt

A market report by Lynx Purchasing, a catering and hospitality purchasing company, cited inflation, labour shortages, Brexit, Covid and environmental factors, such as flooding, as the drivers of the potential shortage. 

Rachel Dobson, managing director at LYNX, said: "The recent floods in Europe have affected potato growers and processors in the region, with varieties grown for frozen chips particularly affected.

"It means that UK pubs and restaurants serving popular dishes like fish and chips could find their usual supplier isn’t able to deliver.

"The shortage abroad is likely to have a knock-on effect on availability of UK-grown potatoes.

"Come Christmas, we could find that the roast potato, a staple of festive dinners, is also in short supply."

The devastating floods, which claimed hundreds of lives in Germany, Belgium and Netherlands last months also damaged large swathes of agricultural land; approximately 20,000 hectares according to the Irish Farmers Association (IFA).

The IFA has also raised concerns about Europe’s potato crop, which is likely to producer a smaller, lower quality yield than normal.

Many parts of the UK are already experiencing supply chain issues, with supermarket shelves left relatively bare.