A BUTCHER has reassured customers that traditional Christmas dinners will not be cancelled, due to national food shortages.

Cranstons, which has a butchers in Hexham, has told the public that as far as they are concerned, turkeys and pigs in blankets will be on the table this Christmas.

There are currently concerns that shortages of some foods, including turkeys and pigs in blankets, could be worse as Christmas approaches.

But, Cranstons have reassured the public that they will not be running low this Christmas.

Managing director, Martin Jones said: “I’d like to reassure our customers that Christmas will not be cancelled at Cranstons.

"Our farmers, butchers and makers are all working hard to bring you the tasty festive food you have come to expect from us.

“We are experiencing some minor disruption to the supply of some specialist packaging and have seen some delivery delays on ambient ingredients.

"Like many businesses we have also found recruiting new team members more challenging this year too.

"However our experienced teams are working around the disruption and visitors to our food halls and traditional shops will see strong availability.

“Cranstons long standing relationships with farmers, the low food mile nature of our business and the fact our products are made ‘in-house’ make us less vulnerable to supply chain disruption than the major supermarkets."

One of the main issues facing the industry is a shortage of staff and Cranstons said there were fewer experienced butchers applying for positions at Cranstons than there were ten years ago.

They said they had addressed the shortage through developing butchery apprentices, taking on several apprentices a year.

In May, Cranstons agreed how many birds poultry farmers should breed and grow on their behalf, so that they were ready and guaranteed in time for the festive period.

Yet some of their suppliers are facing labour shortages this year, which might mean they are unable to supply the birds fully prepared.

The popular pigs in blankets are safe this Christmas, with Cranstons estimated to have made 70,000 pigs in 2020 and are planning to do so again this year.