By Grace McGrory
Leeds Kirkgate Market traders have said that they have not been affected by the stock shortage that has overwhelmed the rest of the nation over the past few months.
They are equally not expecting any shortages throughout the Christmas period, which is typically the busiest time of year for the market.
This contradicts the disruption to the national supply chain that has been caused by a lack of produce pickers and HGV delivery drivers in particular.
The key, the vendors said, is to shop and stock local.
Speaking to Yorkshire Voice, John Paul Johnston of J.P Johnston Butchers said: “There are no supply issues currently.
“We are not short on anything at all.”
However, he added that this “has not stopped fear and panic” being felt among the general public.
Over the past week alone Johnston said that 60 to 70 people have already asked if they can order their turkeys, two and a half months before Christmas Day.
This was echoed by fellow butcher and delicatessen owner Malcolm Leary of Malcolm Michaels Quality Butchers Ltd.
When asked if his business had experienced any shortages, he said: “So far so good.
“In Yorkshire, everything is accessible. We don’t sell anything that is imported.”
Leary also added that if he did encounter any issues regarding a lack of delivery drivers, because his suppliers were local, he could go and collect the stock himself.
Breakfast Cottage Café owner Lewis Barker also said how important it is to use local produce and highlighted the benefits of doing so.
He said: “As a business, we haven’t seen the impact of the HGV delivery driver shortage.”
This is due to his wholesalers either being within the market itself or within a four-to-five-mile radius.
He urged people to shop at local businesses to avoid any disappointment regarding stock shortages instead of buying from supermarkets out of convenience.
Even if the vendors do begin to face stock difficulties, however, Barker believes that the 120-year-old Kirkgate Market will endure regardless.
“Whilst people still eat meat and drink a pint of beer, the market will stand the test of time.”