Boris Johnson begged Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to do an emergency deal to supply a food product the the UK risked running out of, the South American said last night.
Speaking on his weekly webcast to supporters, Mr Bolsonaro said Mr Johnson made the plea when the two leaders met in New York on Monday.
‘He wants an emergency agreement with us to import some kind of food that is lacking in England,’ he said.
Mr Johnson and Mr Bolsonaro in New York on Monday
Mr Bolsonaro did not elaborate which product the plea concerned, and his office could not immediately clarify it.
A surge in gas prices has led to knock-on supply chain problems that risk crippling wide parts of the UK’s food supply network.
The energy bills forced fertilizer plants to shut down, meaning the by-product carbon dioxide stopped being produced. It is a key chemical used throughout the fresh food industry to extend the shelf life of products from salads to meats and beyond.
The British government, seeking to avert meat and poultry shortages, has extended emergency state support and warned its food producers to prepare for a 400% rise in CO2 prices.
It was unclear this morning whether any deal was actually reached between Mr Johnson and Mr Bolsonaro for the supply of the food, or over what timeframe the UK risked shortages of it.
Ministers, including Mr Johnson, have repeatedly brushed aside suggestions there could be shortages of traditional Christmas fare such as roast turkey, though some suppliers have warned of them.