Consumers encouraged to shop early for Christmas goodies and avoid supply chain pressures

The peak industry body for Australia’s food and grocery manufacturers says shoppers are encouraged to shop early for their Christmas goodies to avoid the impact of supply chain disruptions that are currently affecting some businesses. 

With supply chains across Australia and around the world affected by a series of issues including a shortage of wooden pallets, Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) CEO Tanya Barden said food and grocery manufacturers are dealing with pressures on production in the leadup to the busy Christmas period. 

Ms Barden said the pallet shortage had progressed to a point where it was affecting production rates at manufacturers, forcing them to slow or stop production because pallets were sometimes not available for shipping out finished stock.  

“We remain in regular discussions with retailers, pallet providers and the Federal Government and we’re working with all stakeholders to reduce the impact of this issue,” she said. 

Ms Barden said that while industry is doing everything it can, the unfortunate reality is that pallet shortages and shipping delays mean some products may not be available in the lead-in to Christmas. The best approach for consumers is to make an early start on their Christmas shopping. 

“Consumers do need to be aware that they may be limited in some of their choices and if they have particular products they want then planning to shop early is a good idea,” Ms Barden said. 

“Our food and grocery manufacturers have continued to keep supermarket shelves stocked throughout all the disruptions that COVID-19 has thrown at the industry and they are continuing to do their very best in the face of unprecedented challenges. 

“The shortage of pallets is a concern for our members and we hope that pallet providers are able to find a way to meet their projected supply of these vital items.”