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Supermarkets: Coronavirus

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 30th March 2020.

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Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will encourage supermarkets to include care workers in reserved shopping hours.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. Our retailers already have highly resilient supply chains and they are working around the clock to ensure people have the food and products they need. Industry is adapting quickly to these changes in demands, and food supply into and across the UK is resilient.

To help the industry to respond to this unprecedented demand we have introduced new measures to support businesses to keep food supply flowing on to shelves and into homes. These include temporary relaxation of competition laws to allow supermarkets to work together, extending delivery hours to supermarkets and flexing rules on drivers’ hours to allow a higher frequency of deliveries to stores to ensure shelves are being replenished more quickly.

We are in close contact with industry to discuss further ways to help with their preparations, including how they can support key workers.

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