Katherine Fletcher, MP for South Ribble has received a number of questions relating to the recent panic buying that has seen shelves stripped bare of everything from soap and cleaning products to tinned food and toilet paper.
Here we set out the Measures the Government are taking to ensure food stocks keep flowing, including:
Working closely with the retail industry to establish any additional support they may need. The Environment Secretary is speaking regularly with industry, including the British Retail Consortium, to determine what additional support the Government can provide. Under discussion are other measures to support the continued flow of groceries into our shops and steps to ensure people staying at home can get the food and groceries they need.
- Issuing guidance to help supermarkets keep the supply of food flowing. Guidance has been issued to local authorities advising them to extend the hours that deliveries can be made to supermarkets and other food retailers, making it easier for shelves to be replenished and to help the industry respond to Covid-19.
- Announcing a temporary relaxation of the rules governing delivery drivers’ hours. The Transport Secretary has authorised a temporary relaxation of the rules on drivers’ hours, so they can continue to help deliver vital goods to shops across the country, while also continuing to be mindful of driver welfare.
- Closely monitoring the resilience of food retailers’ supply chains. UK retailers already have highly-resilient supply chains, and they are working around the clock to ensure people can access the products they need. Food supply into the UK has continued, and are monitoring the situation very closely to ensure this remains and will provide an update if anything changes.
In response to the measures the government are taking, Katherine Fletcher, MP for South Ribble said:
"These new measures taken so far will help give the reassurance that local people, employees and employers need in this crisis.
I know people are concerned about pressures on the food supply chain during this difficult time.
I have been in dialogue with ministers and the Environment Secretary, who is responsible for the food supply. The government are working closely with representatives across the food supply chain, together with local authorities and charities, to ensure that those who need to stay at home will have continued access to food.
I want to reassure everyone. The government is doing everything they can to rise to the challenge ahead, to ensure food stocks keep flowing, and people can access the groceries they need.
However, I would like to appeal to shoppers to be considerate to others, especially the vulnerable and to only buy the products that they require."