Pumpkin shortage threatens Halloween amid HGV driver crisis, experts warn

By Katie Williams

Halloween might be a pumpkin short this year after experts have warned of a shortage in supply.

Shoppers around Scotland and the rest of the UK have noticed empty shelves while food chains like McDonald's and KFC ran out of popular products.

A shortage in lorry drivers have led to supply issues around the UK and has been branded as a 'crisis' by business owners.

READ MORE: Haribo struggling to stock supermarket shelves as lorry driver shortage continues

And now, along with dramatic weather changes, pumpkins look to be the next victim and experts have warned that they will be difficult to purchase this Halloween.

Due to the lack of fruit and vegetable pickers on farms and shortage of HGV drivers which has been causing issues in supermarkets, shortages will also hit the popular autumnal fruit, i reports.

The weather has also had a negative impact on the harvest for farmers.

Due to the amount of sunlight and lack of warm weather, farmers are warning that autumnal fruit is not ripen in the fields.

The i reports that parts of the UK saw just 65 per cent of the average rate of sunshine in August - with temperatures never staying above 15C through the month.

Leading wholesale pumpkin supplier Lyburn Farm in Salisbury has closed its order books and says it is already oversubscribed.

“We are not taking any more orders for the 2021 season for the time being as we are over subscribed and not even running a waiting list," they said.

“The crop is now looking good but slow to ripen due to lack of sunshine and heat, as a result they are still looking very green."

Stores, restaurants and supermarkets have been feeling the affect of the lorry driver crisis and Brexit.

DVSA announced in August it is aiming to recruit an extra 40 additional vocational driving examiners to help reduce the shortage after the Road Haulage Association has warned that there is a shortfall of around 100,000 drivers.

It has also increased the number of vocational driving tests from 2,000 a week pre-pandemic to 3,000 by overtime and has allocated additional employees into testing.

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