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Boris Johnson Appoints Former Tesco CEO As A Supply Chain Advisor Amid Growing Shortage Crisis

2 min read

Boris Johnson has appointed former Tesco CEO Sir David Lewis as the government’s new supply chain advisor.

The move comes as the UK faces a plethora of supply chain crises, catalysed by a combination of the pandemic, Brexit and widespread labour shortages.

Lewis’ new role will involve identifying the causes of current supply chain blockages, pre-empting possible future issues and advising on solutions to shortage crises. 

The former Tesco CEO will also co-chair a Supply Chain Advisory Group and Industry Taskforce, comprising experts from the logistics sector.

“I’m pleased that Sir David Lewis is joining the team who have been working on future proofing our supply chains across the United Kingdom as we recover from the pandemic,” Boris Johnson said in a statement on Friday.

“There are currently global supply issues which we are working with industry to mitigate, and Dave brings a wealth of experience which will help us continue to protect our businesses and supply chains.”

Over the past few months Britain has been hit by a series of supply chain shortages, affecting products ranging from McDonald’s milkshakes and Nando’s chicken to cement and carbon dioxide.

In September 3.5 million heads of broccoli and 1.9 million heads of cauliflower had to be disposed of by just one farm producer.

This month a shortage of abattoir workers has left some farmers with no choice but to conduct a mass slaughtering of pigs, and a shortage of HGV drivers coupled with panic buying has triggered a nation-wide fuel crisis.

The government says that to tackle the shortfalls it has introduced a range of measures including streamlining coronavirus testing processes for HGV drivers, creating skills bootcamps to train up HGV drivers, and introducing short-term visas for fuel drivers, food haulage drivers and poultry workers.

Lewis will begin his new role next Monday and will remain in post until the end of the year.

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