HCM City food providers bounce back from COVID-19, ensure food supply

Monday, Oct 25, 2021 07:32

Customers shop for food in a supermarket in HCM City. Food suppliers are focusing on ensuring stable food supply while staying safe amid the pandemic. — Photo nld.com.vn

Food manufacturers and distributors in HCM City are focusing on resuming production and ensuring stable food supply after a long period of strict COVID-19 preventive measures hindering their operations.

According to the HCM City Food and Foodstuff Association, its business members have been keeping prices stable, following the city’s instruction.

They are also working closely with local authorities to ensure safety at the workplace.

Most of the key businesses in the association were able to resume production almost immediately after the city’s reopening in early October.

Manufacturers of instant noodle products can now reach up to 80 per cent of their usual capacity, while certain farm produce processing facilities are able to reach full capacity.

Distribution businesses in the city are also preparing to supply the market with essential goods for the remaining months of the year.

Saigon Co.op, for example, is working with its suppliers to stock up on rice, frozen foodstuff and other food products, and is buying large quantities of fresh vegetables from co-operative groups in southern provinces.

It said it would ensure sufficient supply of foodstuff for the next six months.

However, many businesses are still facing problems such as lack of manpower and difficulties buying ingredients due to rules related to custom procedures and transportation amid the ongoing pandemic.

They are asking permission to extend their staff’s working hours to meet delivery demands.

Ly Kim Chi, chairman of the association, said that businesses would like the city to issue more long-term policies and guidelines to help businesses adapt to the city’s new normal and be more proactive, such as instructions in dealing with positive COVID-19 cases among staff.

Wide-scale lockdowns and needless testing should not be enforced, she said.

Businesses are also asking for financial assistance such as tax and land rent reduction, as well as more favourable prices for testing kits.

This month, many businesses in HCM City have resumed operation but they have had to adhere to the city’s strict COVID-19 safety regulations, such as frequent staff testing and ensuring social distancing and staff vaccinations. — VNS

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