State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, has expressed satisfaction that key stakeholders in the distributive trade have been ramping up production of foodstuff in light of the threat of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“All the manufacturers and importers present have indicated that they have at least two to three months’ worth of stock and we expect that there will not be any shortage across the sector especially in critical food items,” Mr. Green said.
“We want to indicate to the country that we seem to be fairly secure with basic food items,” he continued.
Mr. Green was speaking at a special meeting of the distributive trade, at the Ministry’s Hope Gardens offices in Kingston, on March 10.
Among the attendees to the meeting were representatives from the National Baking Company, MegaMart Jamaica, Wisynco, GraceKennedy, Caribbean Broilers, Jamaica Broilers, Rainforest Seafoods, Sugar Industry Authority, Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association, Chas E. Ramson, Jamaica Biscuit Company Limited, Jamaica Flour Mills, and Lillan Limited.
Discussions surrounded the strategies being implemented by businesses to deal with the threat of the disease, levels of business readiness and the availability of a business continuity plan should they be affected among other things.
Meanwhile, Mr. Green noted that the Ministry through its established taskforce headed by the Permanent Secretary, has been “keeping a pulse” on the happenings in the trade sector and will continue to monitor the situation.
“We have increased our visits to supermarkets and clearly we are going to be paying keen attention to things like prices,” he indicated.