No need for panic buying – Regisford
SUPERMARKETS, WHOLESALERS and manufacturers have all assured that they have enough supplies to service the country.
And Anthony Regisford, the executive director of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce says there is no need for panic buying in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
“The situation with them is that their supplies are normal. But more importantly, their supply chain, they don’t foresee any interruptions,” Regisford told SEARCHLIGHT this week.
A release claiming that local supermarkets have a limited three-week supply of food remaining began making rounds on social media earlier this week.
But the Ministry of Agriculture denounced the rumour, describing the circulation of such news as “malicious” as it could result in panic buying because of COVID-19.
The SVG Chamber of Industry and Commerce also weighed in on the issue, stressing that the information referring to an impending food supply shortage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is fake.
Regisford said there was one instance where CRIX biscuits were bought out as a result of panic buying.
He added that non-food items including rubbing alcohol and hand sanitisers also remain “problematic because there’s been a rush on those products”.
But the executive director said that conversations with businesses, who are also members of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, assure that there is no need for alarm.
“I spoke to CK Greaves, Massy, Bonadie and Randy’s which I think you can consider to be representative of the main supermarkets,” he said. “They have had assurance from their suppliers that their flow of goods remains normal at this point.”
Regisford further said that supermarkets also assure that the supply chain will not be interrupted in the foreseeable future.
Wholesalers including Facey, Premium Products, Frank B Armstrong and Global Trading also have similar assurance, noting that they have fairly good stock levels and a steady supply chain.
The executive director told SEARCHLIGHT that he also spoke with major shipping lines operating in SVG.
“Their operations are regular at this point and they’ve also met with the Port Authority. I’ve also met with the … the CEO of the Port Authority and in terms of the process flow for handling ships, that is the offloading of cargo, they’re taking all the necessary steps to ensure that it is done within the right protocols and therefore, they don’t see any impediment to trade as far as offloading cargo from ships are concerned,” Regisford said.
Like the other businesses, local manufacturers have also expressed confidence in the measures they have in place to ensure the continuity of supplies.
“Long and short of it is there’s no need for panic buying. The supermarkets are comfortable that they will be able to supply regular food supplies,” Regisford said. “The wholesalers are comfortable that they will have stocks to supply the retailers and the manufacturers of our food and beverages.”