Food distributors fear that store shelves will be empty more and more often in the coming weeks.
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The impact of the new mandatory vaccination policy for truckers to cross the border between Canada and the United States could be felt right here.
A factor that adds to the shortage of labor in this area, in addition to the pandemic that is already affecting the supply chain.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance estimates that between 12% and 15% of truckers in the country are not adequately vaccinated.
“So obviously, we add layers, it will be more and more difficult, explains Guillaume Dubois, regional president of Sysco. I am convinced that the consumer already sees it in certain grocery stores that the shelves are empty. In some products, we can say 10 to 15% drop in availability.”
Fruits and vegetables that come largely from the United States, especially in winter, would be more vulnerable to delivery problems.
The grocery stores visited by the TVA Nouvelles team did not seem too affected, but the balance is fragile, according to a grocer.
“It’s an element that adds to everything that is already underway,” admits François Lamontagne, owner of L’Intermarché St-Vallier.
“It’s going to make it difficult,” he believes.
He gives the example of his yogurt products received eight days late.
The food distribution and processing industry, like the transport industry, is trying to adapt in order to reduce the impacts.
“Are we going to change the routes of truckers who usually deliver to Canada and who could eventually deliver to the United States? We are looking for alternative ingredients that we could find on our domestic market in Canada. Yes, there are many possible solutions that are being examined,” says Sylvie Cloutier, CEO of the Quebec Food Processing Council.
Who says scarcity of products also says price increase. Once again the consumer could suffer.