Trick or treat? Pumpkin prices fall by 20pc but 2018 could be a horror show

 
Helen Cahill
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Labour costs are recruiting problems are horrifying farmers (Source: Getty)

Shoppers are getting a treat rather than a trick this Halloween as pumpkin prices in supermarkets have fallen by 20 per cent.

The average price of a pumpkin has dropped from £1.91 in 2016 to just £1.53 this year, according to research by mySupermarket, which looked at pumpkin prices in Asda, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.

However, there are worries that consumers will be forced to fork out more next year.

Read more: Christmas is coming: Oxford Street lights go up before Halloween

Guy Poskitt, managing director of Yorkshire farm Poskitts, said he was having difficulties finding enough people to pick pumpkins because the vast majority of his workers came from the EU.

Following the Brexit vote, attendance from workers became "atrocious", he said, as EU citizens became uncertain about their future in the UK.

Without a readily available workforce for farmers, pumpkin prices were bound to rise every year, he said, adding: "I've never seen an English worker pick a pumpkin yet."

Government policies, such as the national living wage, have also pushed up labour costs for Poskitt.

Recent figures from the British Retail Consortium found thousands of jobs were lost in the sector last quarter as a result of rising costs for businesses.

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