Shelves fill up again after weather-related shortages

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Bad weather led to the Clipper’s and the Goodwill’s crossings being cancelled on Saturday. And although both ferries were back in operation on Sunday alongside Condor’s chartered freight ship the Arrow, the impact of the lack of deliveries was evident on supermarket shelves.

Colin Macleod, Channel Islands Co-op chief executive, said deliveries had now arrived and added that it would not take long for stores to restock.

‘The fact that we live in an Island inevitably means that the vast majority of what we eat is imported from the UK,’ he said. ‘When we have a period of supply disruption it is quite quickly felt particularly in the fresh food, short-life produce.

‘The days of huge warehouses are long gone in the Channel Islands. Even when warehouses were here they stocked tins and packets. It would not materially change the situation [if there were still food warehouses] as it is the fresh food that sells out the quickest.

‘We get to enjoy incredible views and live in an incredible place but when the wind starts howling Islanders have to be a bit more creative with their menu choices.’

Mr Macleod added that Vienna Bakery always reacts ‘really well’ when there is disruption and bakes extra batches.

And he said that it would not take long for the shelves to be replenished as the ferry company prioritises food deliveries.

‘I would expect by later this afternoon there will be abundant supply and probably a few bargains because the products that were due to be with us on Saturday will be approaching their sell by date and we will inevitably have to reduce quite a bit,’ he said yesterday.

A spokesman for SandpiperCI, which operates Morrisons and Marks and Spencer, said there were no deliveries on Saturday or Sunday but that shelves were being restocked yesterday.

And a Waitrose and Partners spokeswoman said: ‘The adverse weather conditions over the weekend affected deliveries to the Island and, like other retailers, this had an impact on our ability to stock fresh food. We have received a delivery and currently have good availability. We are grateful to our customers for their understanding.’

Meanwhile, the ferry cancellations has had little affect on the importation of drugs and medicines.

Simon Wall, deputy lead for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for Jersey, said: ‘The ferry came in yesterday and we got the stock this morning. It has not affected us much so far, of course if the weather continues to be bad we could get more delays.

‘All the pharmacies in the Island work together – we’ve got a bit of a swop shop.’

A Condor Ferries’ spokesperson said: ‘Condor has rescheduled and added sailings over the past few days to maintain essential freight supplies to the Islands during the recent poor weather.

‘Saturday’s Goodwill and Clipper services from Portsmouth were unable to operate to Jersey so the company retimed both to St Helier on Sunday. The chartered ship, the MV Arrow, provided extra freight capacity with an arrival yesterday morning and she will operate additional round trips this week.

‘Our schedule is driven by the needs of the supply chain and retailers which demands a twice daily “just in time” service year-round. This has become more critical in recent years following the closure of all on-island warehouses and we are very proud of our record in maintaining essential supplies to the Islands for over 70 years.’

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