Friday 3 July, 2020

Procurement team leader at Kirk Market talks 'supply' during COVID-19

Last week, Loop Cayman interviewed Woody Foster of Foster's Supermarket to determine how US Supply chain issues are affecting local inventory levels. Mr Foster indicated that there have been reduced supplies in some areas; however, suppliers are working with Foster's and its competitors to ensure that there are adequate supplies in Cayman.

"We do have reduced variety and we have had to get creative with where and how we buy but by and large we are keeping the country well stocked with food and other goods," he said. 

This weekend we asked Chrystal Edwards, Procument Team Leader at Kirk Market about US supply levels and how they are impacting local inventory.

Here's what she said: 

On the current status of shortages as compared to March...

"Over the past 30 days, shipments have started to stabilize since the large shortages we saw in early March. Supply availability for many categories continues to be tough, especially for products particularly impacted by hoard buying such as alcohol, sanitizers, surface cleaners, paper towels and tissue. Manufacturing plants for the lines: Lysol, Proctor&Gamble, even Heinz and Kraft, have lowered the items they produce to increase availability on the top sellers." 

On how protein supplies have been impacted...

"US Protein supplies have been rocked as the rest of the food supply chain, due to cluster [coronavirus] outbreaks in meat plants throughout the Pork and Beef industry especially. This is creating slowed supply and price hikes overall. Supply chains continue to deliver our orders steadily and fulfilment has certainly improved albeit lower than pre-COVID arrivals. The meat industry is forecasting continued inventory deficits until September." 

Other areas that have been impacted...

"Our customer shop has dynamically shifted over the past few months. Their needs are different and we are adapting to the new demands by supporting them to create delicious meals in the safety of their own home."

Based on these responses, it is evident that supplies have been impacted by logistical and export-related issues from the US market. That said, there is clearly no need for panic buying or hoarding.

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