The food shortages being reported by a growing number of household names are likely to last forever, a leading industry figure has said in a stark warning to the government.
Ian Wright, CEO of the Food & Drink Federation, said the system that for decades had meant British consumers could expect a full range of food or drink items in their supermarkets and restaurants was "over" and probably not coming back.
A shortage of lorry drivers and workers elsewhere in supply chains, compounded by Brexit and the Covid pandemic, has triggered shortages of food and other items in recent weeks, with McDonald's, Greggs, the Co-op and many other big names reporting certain items running out.
Speaking to the Institute For Government think tank on Friday, Wright said the disruption "is going to get worse" and warned "it's not going to get better after getting worse any time soon".
The UK food and drink industry is short of around half a million workers, he told the IfG, meaning it is about an eighth short of the total number of people it needs in its workforce.