The government has appointed the former boss of Tesco, Sir Dave Lewis, to help fix supply chain issues which are leaving UK supermarket shelves bare.
Lewis, who stepped down from the helm of the supermarket giant in September, will become the government’s supply chain adviser after it was revealed one in six adults have been unable to buy essential food items in the last fortnight.
According to the Office for National Statistics 61 per cent of grocery shoppers have been unable to pick up items on their shopping list, noticed less variety on shelves or had to go to multiple stores to find everything they needed.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said, “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.
“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,” Johnson added.
In a statement, the government said that Sir Dave’s duties would include “both identifying the causes of current blockages and pre-empting potential future ones, and advising on resolutions either through direct government action or through industry with government support.”
The British Chambers of Commerce welcomed the appointment, saying “hopefully Sir David, and the new groups he co-chairs, will be able to hit the ground running and urgently address some of the critical issues damaging business conditions.
“The increasing pressure that businesses, especially SMEs, are facing around supply chain costs and disruption, labour shortages, price rises, soaring energy bills and taxes is becoming dire,” the group cautioned.
Lewis, who is due to start the role on Monday, earned himself the nickname “Drastic Dave” after fixing businesses at Unilever through cost cutting he went on to lead Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco for six years following a major accounting scandal.