Hardys wine owner warns of shortage ahead of Christmas season

·2-min read
Truck driver shortages could affect the Christmas season and increase wine costs (PA Archive)
Truck driver shortages could affect the Christmas season and increase wine costs (PA Archive)

The owner of wine giant Hardys has warned truck driver shortages could affect the Christmas season.

Boss Robert Foye said the firm was being hit by external staff shortages, especially those working among suppliers in distribution and delivery.

It comes as many companies operating in the UK are currently dealing with a shortage of lorry drivers.

Mr Foye told the BBC: "These shortages, if they continue, could definitely impact Christmas. We are trying to get ahead of it, but it does depend on the situation for the entire transport and trucking industry in the UK."

He added: "The only way we can mitigate this is if we work very closely with our trucking and transport suppliers and our customers. We have done some of that and are managing well so far, but ultimately costs will go up."

Watch: UK's trucker shortage shows labour challenge

Accolade, the UK’s largest wine firm which owns Hardys, rolls out 35 million cases to 143 countries every year.

It includes well known brands such as Hardys, Echo Falls, Kumala, Banrock Station and Stowells.

"Staff shortages are definitely there and there’s a whole new group of employees that need to be trained, from truck drivers to restaurant staff," Mr Foye told the broadcaster.

Although restrictions have eased in the UK, the wine boss said business has been taking longer to recover to pre-Covid levels.

Hardys is just one of a string of companies being hit by the impact of the current supply chain crisis.

Ikea recently apologised to customers for their failure to supply hundreds of items to their stores.

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon apologised to customers after its beer supplies became the latest casualty of the UK’s supply chain crunch.

McDonald’s restaurants across Britain were also unable to serve milkshakes last week after the burger chain was hit with supply issues.

Watch: McDonald’s runs out of milkshakes and bottled drinks in UK

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