The government has been urged to hold a COBRA meeting to address food shortages, as it emerged the farming minister is not meeting supermarkets until next week.
When asked in parliament today how she is responding to empty shelves in supermarkets, environment secretary Therese Coffey said: “Defra is working very closely with the industry to understand the issues with the supply chain, there have been particular issues in Spain and North Africa before Christmas and shortly after, and indeed officials are already working with food retailers and the minister will be meeting them early next week specifically to talk through certain actions for supermarkets.”
MPs have said this is not good enough. Liberal Democrat Cabinet Office Spokesperson Christine Jardine said: “People are rightly alarmed about the chronic shortage of fruit and vegetables in our shops, but it seems the government has no urgent plan to fix it.
“This government has created chaos in the economy, an NHS on its knees, now they’re responsible for worsening food shortages through their failure to back British farming.
“We need an urgent COBRA meeting, together with food experts, supermarkets and farmers, to hammer out an urgent solution to this crisis.
“Ministers cannot just sit on their hands while food supply chains across the country grind to a halt.”