As latest figures this week revealed that 53 people in the UK have so far been diagnosed as having the virus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that one in five people could be off sick from work with the virus at any one time.
A spokesman for Make UK, the trade association for manufacturing, has said the impact of the virus on the sector is likely to get worse before it gets better.
“Companies are already seeing a wide range of impacts, from a shortage of goods to travel restrictions and increased shipping and freight costs which have put severe pressure on transport capacity,” the spokesman said.
“The situation is likely to get a lot worse before it gets better, with disruptions to supply chains in particular likely to choke production for companies at some point. Given the economic prospects for this year were already cloudy due to Brexit, the impact on the wider economy is now likely to be significant.
British supermarkets are reported to be making contingency plans in an effort to counter panic-buying.
Andrew Opie, director of food & sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said:“Retailers are continuing to monitor their supply chains closely and are taking all necessary precautions to ensure consumers have continuous access to products they want. They are adept at managing disruption and moving sourcing from one country to another to mitigate any impact.”
Will Broome, CEO of retail tech company Ubamarket, said: “It’s very encouraging to hear that Britain’s supermarkets are already planning to ensure they can provide the best service possible in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. However, the potential of mass-stockpiling, dramatically increased demand for products and irregular footfall in stores poses a particularly complex problem.”
Source: Thanks https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2020/03/04/Fears-over-food-impact-of-coronavirus