Supermarkets have started filling empty shelves with cardboard cutouts of fruit, vegetables and other groceries, prompting ridicule on social media.
With supply chain issues continuing to blight the industry, Tesco has been forced to use pictures of asparagus, carrots, oranges and grapes in its fresh produce aisles.
“Mmmm, delicious photos of asparagus,” one commenter wrote on Twitter. Another mocked an oversized picture of the vegetable piled up: “I love that asparagus grows to this size in the UK. It’s our climate, I’m sure.”
According to reports in The Guardian, shoppers have spotted fake carrots in Fakenham, cardboard asparagus in London, pictures of oranges and grapes in Milton Keynes, and 2D washing liquid bottles in Cambridge.
Sainsbury’s has also used outline drawings of packaging to fill shelves.
Labour shortages across the supply chains, on farms, factories, warehouses and lorry drivers, threaten to derail the post-pandemic recovery and even put the vital Christmas season in jeapordy.
The Government has introduced 800 temporary visas for foreign butchers and 5,500 visas for poultry workers to come to the UK after labour shortages sparked fears that animals could not be processed in time for Christmas.
It comes after they issued 5,000 temporary visas to HGV drivers – of which only a handful have been taken up.
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