Effect of farmers’ protests: empty shelves in supermarkets and “huge losses”

Empty supermarket shelves
Photo Credit : Pexels

The blockades of distribution centres by angry farmers on Monday was clearly visible in some supermarkets on Tuesday. Here and there the supply failed and people were standing in front of an empty shelf with their shopping carts. In other places, nothing seems to be wrong. A spokesperson for the cooperative supermarkets speaks of losses running into millions. 


At  AH XL in Tilburg, the effect of the farmers’ protests was clearly visible on Tuesday. Fresh products such as courgettes, iceberg lettuce, eggplants, radishes, peaches and sliced fruit were hardly available, if at all. The shelves with milk products are getting empty. Freezers are off because the supply of frozen products is also affected by all blockades.

Empty Shelves

Frank van Keulen can’t find everything on his shopping list. “There were a few products I needed, but they didn’t have them. I can understand the actions of the farmers, but I think it’s going too far now.” According to him, the farmers have now made their point and it must stop.

And Ria Houben agrees: “The way they are doing it now, I no longer understand the farmers. Too many people are now becoming victims of it, people who can’t do anything about it.”

Robert Grant finds the empty shelves annoying but agrees with the farmers: “They are finding it harder to earn a living. They also have to follow regulations more.” The products Grant needed were not there. “No sweat, we’ll eat something else. It is what it is and we should hang in there.”

At other supermarkets, the nuisance is less significant. For example, the shelves in the supermarkets in Schijndel (Jumbo, AH and PLUS) are less full, but there is no shortage yet. However, supermarkets, such as Jumbo in Baarle-Nassau, warn of empty shelves.

At the Jumbo branch on the Broekhovenseweg in Tilburg, it is striking that there are empty shelves in the fruit department. Products are also missing in the freezer department.

Jumbo does not want to discuss the consequences of the farmers’ actions. The supermarket group in Veghel refers for a response to the umbrella Central Bureau of Food Trade. A spokesman for this says that the damage already runs into millions of euros. If the actions are not over quickly, the damage will run into the tens of millions.

Food wastage

The customer will also notice it, she reports. In fact, shelves are already empty and that can get worse. “It mainly concerns vegetables, fruit, dairy and other fresh products. They cannot be delivered right now and may not even be delivered at all. This is food waste and it affects the consumer,” says the spokesperson.

End to blockades

She hopes that all parties involved will soon be able to put an end to blockades of distribution centres, such as the Jumbo depots in Oosterhout, Gelderland and the Veghel-based Sligro’s depot in Deventer. “We are in consultation with the police and municipalities about this. For example, about an emergency ordinance. In the meantime, we are also looking at how we can recover the damage. That will be difficult, but there are some options on the table.”

Source: Omroep Brabant

Translated by :Shanthi Ramani

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