Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has requested Brazil for an “emergency” trade deal to provide some food products lacking in the UK, amid concerns about further supply shortages in the market.
“He wants an emergency agreement with us to import some kind of food that is lacking in England,” the Brazilian president said on his weekly webcast to supporters on Friday.
Bolsonaro said he had passed the British premier’s request to Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina, but did not name any particular product.
In Britain, there has been a supply shortage at supermarkets since there have been critically few transport truck drivers.
Due to a shortage of fast-food chicken, some of Nando’s branches closed last month, with food sector chiefs pointing to the sharp decline in production workers who returned home after Brexit.
For months, supermarkets and farmers have raised the alarm, saying that a shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers was straining supply chains to breaking point, making it harder to get goods to the market.
Johnson’s government, however, has repeatedly ignored the warnings over the shortages of traditional Christmas fare such as roast turkey, poultry and meat.
The British Poultry Council (BPC) has raised the alarm, saying the industry was heading into a “downward spiral towards supply chains seriously struggling.”
Furthermore, the managing director of the Iceland supermarket warned that food supplies could come under threat within days, not weeks.
The post-Brexit shortage of truck drivers, along with a lack of workforce, has left the UK facing high energy prices and a potential food supply crunch.
Earlier this week about two million households lost their supplier, as nine gas suppliers collapsed under the pressure of record gas prices.
The Downing Street has urged people not to panic-buy, after several petrol stations closed as their ability to transport fuel from refineries was hit by shortage of lorry drivers.