HCMC authorities assure food supply is sufficient despite Covid disruption

By Thi Ha, Anh Minh, Tat Dat   July 8, 2021 | 10:13 am GMT+7
HCMC authorities assure food supply is sufficient despite Covid disruption
Co.op Xtra Pham Van Dong Supermarket in HCMC. Photo by VnExpres/Tat Dat.
HCMC has foodstuff stocks of over 120,000 tons, triple the normal volume, to ensure consumer demand is fully met, the Department of Industry and Trade said.

Its deputy director, Nguyen Nguyen Phuong, admitted Wednesday however that with all three wholesale markets closing a few days ago after Covid-19 infections were found there, the daily volume of goods supplied in the market has dropped to 4,500-5,000 tons from 6,000-8,000.

But he assured it would be temporary.

HCMC consumes some 5,000-6,000 tons of goods a day, and the city has over 120,000 tons, and many distribution channels are operational, he pointed out. "People should not be worried in any disease situation."

Some 110 traditional markets, 106 supermarkets, 2,469 mini supermarkets, and 28,700 convenience stores remain open, and district authorities provide support for online sales.

Nguyen Anh Duc, general director of Saigon Co.op, said the supermarket chain has an inventory of 40,000 tons of essential goods, but due to technical issues and time pressure, it sometimes experiences online network congestion and some outlets run out of goods.

Lam Quoc Thanh, general director of Satra, said the supermarket chain has extended its stores’ working hours from the earlier 8 am- 10pm to 7 am-11pm, and has enough stocks for one month.

Besides fresh meat, Vissan stores also sell frozen pork, beef and chicken, and he said it has enough stocks to meet four to five months of normal demand.

Le Viet Nga, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s domestic market department, said HCMC’s neighboring provinces have been told to prepare for increasing supply to the city when needed.

After the three wholesale markets closed down, goods from neighboring localities have reached the city’s markets and retail stores in various ways.

Nguyen Nhu, deputy general director of the Thu Duc Agricultural Product Wholesale Market, said before the market closed on Wednesday morning all its goods had been dispatched to traditional markets and stores.

The market has also assisted traders in selling their products online.

Shops in wholesale markets are selling online using mobile phones and e-commerce platforms, according to the Department of Industry and Trade.

Hoang, a pork seller at the Hoc Mon Wholesale Market, uses a truck to transport the meat directly from farms to retailers’ houses and stores. "Supply is sufficient," she said.

The department will create a buffer zone each in Thu Duc City and the districts of Cu Chi and Binh Chanh for stocking goods, especially foodstuffs, coming from provinces. The goods will be disinfected before being send to traditional markets across the city.

Meanwhile, supermarket chains Saigon Co.op and Mega Market said they would buy agricultural products and foodstuffs from traders at the closed wholesale markets at reasonable prices. Retail store chains Satra and Bach Hoa Xanh and trading companies will also buy these goods.

 
 
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