The new measures mean that food retailers can increase the frequency of deliveries to their stores and move stocks more quickly from warehouses across the country.
Environment secretary George Eustice held a call with representatives from across the food supply chain yesterday to discuss further ways to help with their preparations, and to look at support for vulnerable groups who may be in isolation.
Last week, supermarkets told the Government that a relaxation of curfews would help retailers respond to the increased consumer demand.
Current rules mean that deliveries are prohibited overnight, so that vehicles do not disturb residents. The Government has said it will temporarily relax the enforcement of restrictions to give greater flexibility.
“We have listened to our leading supermarkets and representatives from across the industry, and we are taking action to support their preparations. By allowing night-time deliveries to our supermarkets and food retailers, we can free them up to move their stocks more quickly from their warehouses to their shelves,” said Eustice.
“Our retailers have well-established contingency plans in place and are taking all the necessary steps to ensure consumers have the food and supplies they need.”
Getting stock to shelves
Andrew Opie, director of food & sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said: “While there is plenty of stock available, the challenge for retailers has been to make sure all of it reaches shelves at the earliest opportunity. It is essential that Government continues to engage on other ways to alleviate the challenges for retailers.”
The Government is also looking closely at measures to ensure supply chains continue to function as normal. It revealed the Transport Secretary was ready to implement existing rules that allowed for extensions on drivers’ hours to help respond to emergency situations, as needed.
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