Covid-19 is not only wreaking havoc on the health of Australians its also causing chaos for food supply chains, with empty supermarket shelves greeting shoppers across Australia.
Increasing Covid-19 case numbers are to blame for a shortage in food supplies as staff are either forced to isolate themselves after contracting the virus or as they await test results, causing major disruptions.
Coles chief operations officer Matthew Swindells told 7 News “the disruption levels are a challenge” and that the issue may take weeks to recover from.
“We’ve come out of a very busy Christmas period and the isolation numbers from Omicron are growing rapidly,” he said.
“That’s putting a lot of pressure not only on our own supply chain, but also on our suppliers.”
“We’re focusing on supplying the products that are the ones that people would expect to see in their main shop.”
“What we really need to do is make sure that the team members who are isolating are able to get tested and to safely return to work quickly.”
Woolworths is also feeling the crunch with a spokesperson for the supermarket giant telling news.com.au, “suppliers are doing all they can to replenish stores as quickly as possible”.
“The pandemic has delivered many challenges over the past two years and will continue to do so as we move into this next phase,” the spokesperson said.
“We’re currently experiencing delays with some of our stock deliveries to stores due to Covid-related impacts on our supply chain operations.
“We thank our customers for their patience and apologise for the inconvenience.”
One shopper took to Twitter to show the empty shelves at their local Coles supermarket.
“Same Coles on different days during the last 2 to 3 weeks, Sunshine Coast,” they captioned the photo.
“Anyone else noticing that this is becoming a normal thing? Empty shelves in some parts also.”
Same Coles on different days during the last 2 to 3 weeks, Sunshine Coast.
Anyone else noticing that this is becoming a normal thing? Empty shelves in some parts also… pic.twitter.com/6nJXwqbo80
— Jett ???? (@Jett_B2211) January 3, 2022