TESCO is stockpiling long-life goods in preparation for possible food supply problems at the end of the Brexit transition period.
The chairman of the supermarket giant has admitted he cannot rule out the chance of shortages in certain fresh foods from January 1.
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However, John Allan said he believed any disruptions should only be for “a limited period”.
He spoke as Boris Johnson headed to Brussels for a make-or-break Brexit dinner with EU chief Ursula von der Leyen.
Mr Allan admitted Tesco had also spread its imports across multiple UK ports to avoid reliance on just a few points of entry.
He spoke after hauliers said they feared disruption is inevitable whether the transition period ends with a free trade agreement or not.
Mr Allan told Bloomberg: “We are trying to ensure that we have stockpiled as much as we can of long-life products either in our own warehouses or with our suppliers.”
UK stores stepped up their warehouse capacity last year in anticipation that a tricky split from the EU would damage supply chains.
The Tesco boss also said he believes Brits could turn back to cheddar if the price of French cheese rockets after any no-deal Brexit.
He told the BBC that import taxes could push up the price of brie by as much as 40 per cent.
And he said food bills could climb by an average five per cent in the event of a no-deal Brexit – with certain products soaring even more.
Earlier today, the government announced a series of measures to combat concerns about the operation of trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
With a couple of rare exceptions, all goods going from UK to Northern Ireland will be exempt from EU tariffs.
Proposed food safety checks on goods entering NI will be waived for a grace period of three months.