Milk and fruit dumped in truck driver shortage
By Sean Poulter Consumer Affairs Editor
A SHORTAGE of truck drivers supplying supermarkets and restaurants has left vast quantities of milk to go sour and fresh produce to rot. Around 100 deliveries of milk to a major supermarket did not take place as expected last weekend, according to industry insiders. Millions of pounds of perfectly good fruit and vegetables have also been left to rot and then dumped in landfill. And one major pub chain, which has hundreds of outlets across the country, received just one of eight expected deliveries to regional distribution depots over the weekend. It comes as several supermarkets face difficulties finding haulage companies and the drivers they need – with some online stores showing gaps for products such as grapes, blueberries and citrus fruit. But chains are refusing to discuss the reasons why and instead are referring questions to their trade bodies which have confirmed the driver shortages. Tim O’Malley, of food supplier Nationwide Produce, described the shortage as ‘a crisis of national importance’. Writing in the Fresh Produce Journal, he said it had been triggered by a range of factors such as Brexit and Covid.