The UK’s food industry is facing the worst labour shortage for at least 12 years as farmers, manufacturers and processors struggle to find enough workers to prepare for the Christmas rush.

The warning comes amid fears of a shortage of truck and van drivers to deliver goods to shops and homes. The Association of Labour Providers (ALP), whose employment agency members supply 70% of the temporary labour used by the food and drink industry in the UK, said responses to job ads had slumped as workers from the EU – who account for 90% of jobs in the sector – back away from the UK. (The Guardian)

Research by found that the price of a basket of 35 popular items was £83.40 last month, compared with £83.19 in September, as the falling pound started to have an impact on grocery bills. The prices of both pasta and mushrooms rose by 12% between September and October, while those of grapes and crisps rose by 7% and 5% respectively. (The Times £)

The average price of food and other groceries are lower than last year but shoppers will feel the pinch of a post-Brexit lower pound after Christmas, a report has found. Despite recent warnings by supermarkets and suppliers like Unilever that prices of many goods such as Marmite will rise as a result of a weaker pound, data suggests that shoppers have not yet felt the squeeze at the till. (The Daily Mail)

UK inflation will quadruple to about 4% in the second half of next year and cut disposable income, a leading think tank has forecast. The rise in prices will “accelerate rapidly” during 2017 as the fall in sterling is passed on to consumers, according to the National Institute for Economic and Social Research. (The BBC)

Sharp rises in the price of petrol and diesel were revealed yesterday amid mounting pressure on the Government to cut fuel duty. Figures from the RAC show the average price of a litre of petrol rose by 4.37p in October to 116.73p – the biggest increase in a single month since February 2013. (The Daily Mail)

Gousto, a London-based company set up by former Rothschild bankers, which is trying to compete with Rocket Internet-backed HelloFresh in an increasingly crowded food delivery market has secured its latest chunk of funding. (The Financial Times £)

Online takeaway giant Just Eat has shrugged off its UK summer slowdown to bolster full-year profit guidance for a third time this year as its push into growing European markets and new technology pays off (The Telegraph). However, its 28% growth was a slowdown from a 50% rise a year ago. The FTSE 250-listed group said its quarterly UK sales had fallen amid a ‘significantly warmer and drier’ summer. (The Daily Mail)

An appetite for luxury goods drove double-digit profit growth at the world’s most iconic department store, Harrods. The store, based in London’s prestigious Knightsbridge, said total sales rose 3.7 per cent to £1.7bn for the year to January 30. It said despite ‘tough trading conditions’, profit rose 16.9% to £129.7m. (The Daily Mail)

Regulators have fired the opening shot in a battle that could force Sir Philip Green to hand over a chunk of his fortune to pay the pensions of former workers at the retail chain that made him a billionaire, writes The Financial Times (£). The Pensions Regulator has begun enforcement action against a number of parties including Sir Philip Green after failing to reach a deal to plug BHS’s £571m pension deficit (The Telegraph). The tycoon has rebutted TPR’s claim, saying he had made a “credible and substantial proposal” and shown he had cash available to support the pension scheme. (The Guardian)

Whole Foods shares rallied in extended trading after the upscale grocer said it was doing away with its co-CEO structure that has been in place since 2010, naming John Mackey the company’s chief executive. (The Financial Times £)

The founder of JD Wetherspoon has threatened to stop selling European beers and wines in his pubs after he accused EU leaders of adopting a “bullying approach” over Brexit (The Times £). He accused EC President Jean-Claude Juncker of placing an “unfair burden” on its supply chain by encouraging European business to be deliberately uncooperative with UK companies (The Telegraph)

Shares in JD Wetherspoon fell almost 6 per cent to 835p as investors worried about the tacit threat to cut ties with continental suppliers and the impact of any resulting increase in prices, as well as slower sales growth in recent weeks (The Financial Times £). The company said it expects its wage, business rates and repair bills to rise throughout the rest of the year (The Daily Mail)