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Letter to PM

Lorry driver shortage ‘could hit food supplies’

Trade groups warn of supermarket food shortages

Business leaders want UK government action to allow more Eastern European drivers into the country to avoid a shortage of food in supermarkets.

A letter expressing the growing urgency of the situation has been sent to the Prime Minister signed by the Food and Drink Federation, British Frozen Food Federation, Federation of Wholesale Distributors, Cold Chain Federation, British Meat Producers Association and the British Beer and Pub Association.

The say: “We firmly believe that intervention from the prime minister/Cabinet Office is the only way we will be able to avert critical supply chains failing at an unprecedented and unimaginable level.

“Supermarkets are already reporting that they are not receiving their expected food stocks and, as a result, there is considerable wastage.

“Supermarkets are already reporting that they are not receiving their expected food stocks and, as a result, there is considerable wastage,” the letter said.

Trade groups say Britain has a shortage of 100,000 HGV drivers and that the problem is getting worse.

The Road Haulage Association surveyed 796 businesses which showed they all had vacancies.

Richard Burnett, chief executive of the RHA, told ITV News: “We are weeks away from gaps on the shelves, it is as serious as that.

“The government needs to treat this as an absolute priority.”

The British Retail Consortium says supermarkets are working closely with their suppliers, but government must rapidly increase the number of HGV driving tests taking place while also looking for a long-term solution to this issue.

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