How Fresh Food Markets Avoid Australia’s Disabled Supply Chain Crisis | Supply chain crisis

Plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and meat are available in the markets and according to operators and farmers the removal of blank sheets in large supermarket chains has largely ignored the supply chain crisis.

Supermarket distribution centers are facing staff shortages caused by the Omicron wave, which has forced a quarter of their workers to lay off, prompting Coles and Woolworth to re-purchase purchases on some products after being terrorized by buying empty shelves.

However, market stall operators do not suffer from the same problem as they buy directly from the wholesale market, says Melbourne’s chief executive. Victoria Market, Stan Liacos, said.

“There is more flexibility in the way they buy than in the way most large multinational supermarket chains do business,” he said.

He said 60 fruit and vegetable traders and 10 fish traders in the market buy most of the stock daily at the Melbourne wholesale market.

“They basically choose stocks, and if certain stocks are not available from certain suppliers, they just go around and buy from others.

“So they’re not locked into a handful of huge, watertight, contract-style relationships.”

Stallholders have also ignored barriers to staffing in the logistics sector, with some companies reporting that half of their workers are unavailable.

Melbourne’s Victoria Market, just before Christmas 2021. Photo: Diego Fedley / Getty Images

“Most of them, I would say, the vast, vast, vast majority are actually transporting themselves – they drive their own trucks,” Liakos said.

“So they are not at the mercy of transport companies.”

He also explained the reason for the abundant offerings in specialist fruit and vegetable shops.

“They also usually buy only two or three days and weeks in advance,” he said. “Where supermarkets, generally speaking through their cold storage needs, they are adjusting their food throughout the year.”

Lacos said most of the meat operators selling in the market are killed on site, ignoring another hurdle in supermarket chains – processing plants where carcasses are cut and packed for sale.

“The bodies come to the line in the morning,” he said.

“There may be some special elements that come in pre-cuts, especially the chicken guys – they’re probably not cutting every chuck. The wings can come from the supplier.”

James Jackson, president of NSW Farmers, who is a sheep and livestock farmer, said there is a “stronger type of supply chain” in the food markets.

He said that farmers are producing abundant food despite lack of staff in picking and packing.

“There are individual supply chains that are affected, but many of us are still operating, so the market is still full of products,” he added.

However, he said supermarkets are canceling contracts with meat producers with strong major clauses that enable them to get out “by hitting the fan”.

“Because the slaughterhouses are closed, they can’t find any way to kill the animals,” he said.

“There are some problems with the potential supply of white and red meat because in those industries there are essentially a lot of people sick and a lot of people waiting for RAT. [rapid antigen] Test. “

Jackson said the partial breakdown in the supply chain from Coles and Woolworth’s shelves to farm food has raised questions about whether competition between the federal government and Australia and the Consumer Commission have allowed them to become too big.

“The question you have to ask is whether the ACC’s decision to allow greater dominance for the fresh food business of those two supermarkets, which we’ve been criticizing for years, is prudent, and there are other issues – as far as food security is concerned – they didn’t consider well.

“It’s a mess,” Jackson said, “and the laissez-faire approach to competition policy that the ACCC – well, the government – has taken, as far as laws go into competition policy, has somehow contributed to that.”

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