AIMS calls on government to reallocate poultry worker visas

AIMS calls on government to reallocate poultry worker visas

The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) has called on the UK government to redistribute any unused seasonal poultry visas to the wider meat industry.

A spokesperson for AIMS, Tony Goodger, said that the Association has heard from three of the four existing government-nominated labour providers that they have around 1500 seasonal poultry visas yet unallocated.

Goodger said: “It is probably safe to assume that the other business will have a similar surplus.”

The Association has written to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to suggest that these seasonal poultry worker visas now be offered to beef and lamb abattoirs and catering butchers. AIMS said that, by doing so, these industries could use the visas to meet the rise in demand for meat in the run up to Christmas and the New Year.

Goodger continued: “The Prime Minister recently spoke of the need for Christmas 2021 to be better than last year and it is our view that this means better for consumers and businesses.

“Many of our catering butcher members are telling us about shortfalls in their staff numbers and have a very real concern that they won’t be able to satisfy demand from the hospitality sector during December.

“We have made this suggestion to Defra officials but at present their view is that ‘Reallocating any visas will be very difficult from a political perspective’.”

He added: “Our view is that if the country is to build back better and deliver the Christmas that our members need, and consumers want, butcher worker visas need to be made available. We are not asking for new visas to be issued, just a reallocation of unused butcher visas.”

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