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Govt support needed to restore food supply chains immediately, said Berry
Thursday, 26 March, 2020, 16 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, Bengaluru
Government support and intervention are required to restore supply chains with immediate effect. This was stated by Varun Berry, managing director, Britannia Industries, who added, “We echo the voice of the industry and stand by the government in its measures to curb people movement and fight the pandemic.” 

“Food is a declared essential commodity as per the Essential Commodities Act 1955, and the food processing industry has been exempted from the work and movement restrictions imposed at this point in time,” he added.

“As reiterated by our Prime Minister, essential food commodities must be made available to people at all points in time and throughout the country to ensure that people do not indulge in panic buying,” said Berry.

The food industry supply chain is disaggregated and dependent on inter-state movement of goods. Due to the nature of the materials, inventories across the chain are low. If even one link in the supply chain is broken, the country could run of stocks of packaged food in the next seven to 10 days.

Thus, it is imperative that the supply chain for food products be restored in entirety and allowed to function with adequate safety measures and police protection. 

“The supply chain includes suppliers of raw materials and packaging materials, food manufacturing factories, factory workers, transporters carrying materials and finished goods, depots, wholesalers, distributors and their salesmen. Necessary permits need to be immediately issued to all of them,” Berry said.

“Our factories are primed to manufacture products at this time with all due hygiene and social distancing protocols in place. But we need support from district authorities in allowing our factory workers to travel to the factory premises with appropriate safeguards,” he added.

While the Central government has issued all necessary permissions, the immediate need of the hour is that it be percolated right down to the district authorities. 

“This will help us kick-start production and ensure uninterrupted supply of essential packaged foods throughout the country,” stated the Britannia chief.
 
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