The Australian Food and Grocery Council has said that global and national supply chain problems such as a wooden pallet shortage have forced manufacturers to slow down or stop production, and that Christmas shoppers were encouraged to shop early to avoid the worst impacts.
The peak national body for food and grocery manufacturers said on Friday that the industry was under pressure from pallet shortages and shipping delays, which meant some products may be unavailable leading up to Christmas.
“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,” said AFGC CEO Tanya Barden in a statement.
“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.”
Barden said the group was in regular discussion with pallet providers, retailer and the federal government.
Pressures on supply have featured regularly in industry surveys this year. According to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in June, “material constraints on a scale not seen since the 1970’s oil shock” were being experienced.
More recently, companies have begun warning of inflation risks.
Sanjeev Gandhi, CEO of chemicals company Orica, said this month: “We see energy inflation, we see inflation in supply chain costs, we see inflation in our input costs, we see labour cost inflation. So, inflation is a massive challenge, and that’s something I expect will continue.”
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