SUPERMARKETS across the Central Highlands have been forced to ration essential food items as panic-buyers are emptying shelves of stock.
Emerald’s Woolworths and Foodworks have both imposed a two-per-customer limit on fresh and longlife milk to extend supplies and Woolworths has also limited customers to one kilogram of deli foodstuffs.
By yesterday afternoon, most of the stores were running very low on fresh produce including fruit, vegetables, meat, milk, butter and eggs.
“We are getting pretty light. Each day we have about 25 per cent of the amount of produce we need,” said the store manager for Woolworths in Emerald, who estimated it would take the store a week to fully restock once supplies could get through.
“We normally get between 30 and 50 pallets a day.
“We need 300 pallets to fill the shop back up again, and that is not going to happen in one day.”
Store managers say panic-buyers are exacerbating shortages with stock flying off shelves.
“We have had panic-buying since Christmas,” said the store manager of Daintree Street IGA in Clermont.
National Retail Association Director of Corporate Services Jed Moore said panic-buying was unnecessary and put tremendous pressure on retailers.
“Obviously everyone needs to ensure they have a sufficient supply of groceries but overstocking on items simply causes distress to others.
“People need to be moderate and be sensible when purchasing groceries.
“The retailers are well aware of the shortage and they are doing everything in their power to get supplies to supermarkets in regional and rural communities.
“As soon as the roads are passable again fresh stock will be arriving.”
NO - fresh meat, no eggs
VERY LIMITED - fruit and vegetables
LIMITED - packaged bread, fresh and longlife milk, butter
IGA, Daintree Street
NO – fruit and vegetables
VERY LIMITED – fresh milk
LIMITED – longlife milk, bread
IGA Capella Street UNKNOWN at time of press
NO - fruit and vegetables
LIMITED - frozen vegetables, fresh produce
LIMITED: fresh milk
NO - meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables
VERY LIMITED – fridge freezer produce
LIMITED - bread and milk
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.