The Prime Minister has been asked to consider military intervention to avoid food shortages this summer.
One of Britain’s biggest food companies, Premier Foods has called on the government to consider using the army to distribute goods to help relieve a severe shortage of truck drivers.
Last week industry leaders warned Britain could face gaps on supermarket shelves this summer and an “unimaginable collapse of supply chains” after the pandemic and Brexit led to a shortage of more than 100,000 HGV drivers.
At a meeting between officials from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and food industry representatives, Premier Foods asked the government if using the army to distribute supplies might be possible, as some military personnel hold the required HGV licenses.
A spokesman for Britain’s Ministry of Defence said it had not received a formal request to provide support. A government spokesperson later said:
“There are so far no plans to use military personnel in this scenario.”
At the DEFRA meeting Chris Hall, head of logistics at Asda, Britain’s third largest supermarket group after Tesco and Sainsbury’s , said the grocer was “just about keeping its head above water – but for how long?”.
He warned however that any spike in demand this summer could “cause significant challenges and disruption”.