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UK food group wants Army assistance to relieve lorry driver crisis

Premier Foods is one of Britain's biggest food companies. It has been calling on the UK government to consider using the army to distribute goods to help relieve a severe shortage of truck drivers. Last week, industry leaders already warned that 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 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers.

At a meeting on Monday between officials from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and food industry representatives, Premier Foods' delegate asked the government to consider using the army to distribute supplies, given that some military personnel hold HGV licenses.

A spokesman for Britain's Ministry of Defence said it had not received a formal request to provide support.

Industry lobby group the British Retail Consortium said the fall in HGV driver numbers has resulted in minor disruption to some supply chains. "Supermarkets are working closely with their suppliers to ensure that consumers still have access to the same great selection of goods," said Andrew Opie, the BRC's director of food & sustainability.

According to¸ the government has said most of the solutions are likely to be commercial and from within industry.


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