A no-deal Brexit could send poultry prices rocketing by up to 25%, the British Poultry Council has cautioned.
Its member businesses anticipated EU labour - which makes up almost 60% of its workforce - dropping by half in the case of a no-deal departure, forcing prices up.
“If we cannot support our own production, a two-tier food system will emerge with the average citizen forced to rely on lower standard imports,” said BPC CEO Richard Griffiths.
“Government must ensure that British food, and the quality it represents, stays affordable and available for all,” he added.
“We need the government to devise a food strategy that enables EU nationals to fill vacancies in our sector that cannot be filled with UK workers; and that recognises the importance of food and the challenges it faces in being an essential yet perishable product.”