A FAN favourite Christmas chocolate is set to go missing from supermarket shelves after factory workers voted to walk out.

The treat enjoyed by many over the festive season could be in short supply in weeks due to strike action at a Nottinghamshire plant.

Supermarket shelves could be missing one kind of chocolate this Christmas

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Supermarket shelves could be missing one kind of chocolate this ChristmasCredit: Alamy
Unions are threatening to halt production of Ferrero Rocher chocolate truffles

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Unions are threatening to halt production of Ferrero Rocher chocolate trufflesCredit: Getty

Workers who produce hazelnut chocolate Ferrero Rocher truffles are embroiled in a pay dispute with their bosses in Worksop.

Staff at the factory run by Cargill Cocao and Chocolates had threatened industrial action last month.

And now enough have voted in favour of a walk-out, after the GMB union which represents them held a ballot.

Strike dates are expected to be announced in the coming days.

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And there are claims a disruption to production would mean many fewer packages of Ferrero Rocher in the shops ahead.

The gold foil-wrapped chocolates are known for adverts in which guests at luxury parties tuck into them while uttering the catchphrase: “Ambassador, you are really spoiling us.”

Cargill Cocao and Chocolate not only manufactures Ferrero Rocher but is also one of Britain‘s biggest suppliers of cocoa products to the rest of the confectionery industry.

Some 34 staff are based at the Worksop site and the GMB says the majority of strike-backers form the bulk of the Ferrero Rocher team.

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Union organiser Cameron Mitchell said: “The spectre of Christmas without this beloved Yuletide treat would be devastating.

“That’s exactly what’s on the cards if company bosses don’t act urgently to avoid strike action.

“Workers aren’t demanding gold-wrapped pay-outs – instead they’re asking for a pay packet that covers the bills.”

TURKEY SUPPLY PROBLEMS TOO

The threatened walk-out is just the latest in a year of strikes across public transport and other sectors including the NHS and schools, amid concerns about the cost of living.

Yet Cargill has accused the GMB of making an “unrealistic final demand” for staff to receive a 10 per cent pay hike as well as one-off payments of £1,400.

A company spokesman said: “Cargill has made a fair and market competitive offer to its employees of a 5.5 per cent increase, plus the £1,400 one-off payment.

“We greatly value our employees and the work they do and are disappointed we have not yet come to a collaborative agreement with the union.”

The potential threat comes after warnings Ferrero Rocher supplies could also be hampered by a hazelnut supply crisis in Turkey.

Ferrero, which also makes Nutella chocolate spread, buys a quarter of the world’s hazelnuts.

Production in Turkey, where 70 per cent of the nuts are be grown, has slumped by a quarter after insect problems and a lack of rain.

Meanwhile, it was recently revealed dummy Ferrero Rocher boxes were being used in Co-op stores to thwart shoplifters.

And a social media influencer from Scottish capital Edinburgh sparked a debate over how best to eat the chocolates.

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The Ferrero Rocher shortage threats come as rival confectionery giant confirmed it was axeing two of its chocolates – the Caramac and the Animal Bar.

Overall chocolate bar sales across Britain slumped by 160million last year, a report found – amid soaring prices and shrinking sizes.

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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