Retailers have played down fears of food shortages after France shut its borders to UK hauliers for 48 hours due to the UK’s new coronavirus variant.
But they warned of “serious disruption” without a resolution, with Tesco and Sainsbury’s saying some fresh produce such as lettuce could run short.
The prime minister’s spokesman said the UK had a “diverse” food supply chain.
France’s transport minister has said measures to “ensure that movement from the UK can resume” are close.
The Channel is a vital trade route, with about 10,000 lorries a day travelling between Dover and Calais in peak periods such as Christmas, largely bringing in the freshest produce.
The risk is European hauliers will avoid the UK for fear of getting stranded in the country.
The head of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), Ian Wright, said the border closure had the “potential to cause serious disruption to UK Christmas fresh food supplies – and exports of UK food and drink”.
Andrew Opie, director of food & sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said retailers had stocked up well ahead of Christmas.
But he added: “The closure of France to UK traffic, including accompanied freight poses difficulties for UK capacity to import and export key goods during the busy Christmas period.
“While goods can enter from France, few haulage firms will be willing to send trucks and drivers across to the UK without a guarantee they can return to the EU in a timely manner.”