British supermarkets could start running short on some imported goods such as certain fruit and vegetables if the island's airspace remains closed into this week, a trade body warned.

Christopher Snelling, head of global supply chain policy for the Freight Transport Association, warned that some items, could soon be in reduced supply if the volcanic ash cloud remained over Britain.

"There are no shortages yet, but we may start to see certain ranges affected if this carries on...," said Snelling.

"The longer that UK airspace is closed, the greater the damage, not just to businesses here but also for farmers in the developing countries who rely on exporting their produce to Europe. Their livelihoods are in serious jeopardy."

Supermarkets reported few problems so far.

A spokesman for Tesco said: "Fewer than one percent of our products are air freighted.

"Where possible we're using alternative routes to bring these products to the UK, for example by road and rail from airports which remain open in Europe."

A Waitrose spokesman said supply of a "handful" of lines had already been affected, including fresh pineapple chunks from Ghana and baby sweetcorn from Thailand.