Concerns are rising that ongoing protests in Egypt could lead to fruit & veg shortages in the UK as exporters struggle to ship produce out of the country.

Egypt is an important exporter of fresh produce to the UK, particularly strawberries, tomatoes and citrus fruit at this time of year. But as it is outside the EU, significant paperwork is required before produce can be imported from the country.

The protests meant exporters were running into problems at Egyptian ports and with obtaining official documentation, said Nigel Jenney of the Fresh Produce Consortium. The FPC had approached the UK government for advice to deal with these disruptions, he added.

Prag Mistry, MD of citrus importer Fruitmann, agreed the situation was "fraught", with many government offices responsible for processing the necessary paperwork no longer operational.

Although there were no shortages of citrus fruit in the UK at the moment, supplies would start getting tight "if we don't get things moving soon", he added.