A customer shop for pork at Co.opXtra Phạm Văn Đồng in Thủ Đức City. — VNS Photo
HCM CITY — VISSAN Joint Stock Company will continue to supply fresh food to the HCM City market though some its workers were found infected with COVID-19 coronavirus.
Nguyễn Ngọc An, its general director, said it would supply around 300 pigs a day until August 1, down from the normal 600-700, and increase it to 500 from August 2.
The supply is expected to return to normal after August 5, he said.
The company accounts for 10 per cent of the city’s total supply.
According to its Department of Industry and Trade, the city consumes around 10,000 pigs a day on average, but the demand has slumped to 5,000-6,000 since social distancing under Directive 16 began on July 9.
Due to the temporary shortage, the company would initially supply fresh meat mainly to its own chain of stores, temporarily stopping sales to some supermarkets, An said.
The food processor has workers staying on-site since June 28 and frequently has them tested for coronavirus. Yet, on July 27, 43 were found infected.
On detecting the first suspected cases, the company co-ordinated with authorised agencies to send them and those who were in close contact with them to isolation facilities, and temporarily closed down areas where the infected cases were found based on guidance from the Centre for Disease Control of HCM City.
This has affected some of the production, but slaughtering has not stopped as some rumours claimed, An said.
Nguyễn Nguyên Phương, the department’s deputy director, said there would be no big impact since there is abundant supply from neighbouring provinces, especially Đồng Nai which farms nearly 2.5 million pigs and has enough to supply to HCM City if needed, and other pork suppliers in the city like Sagrifood, Masan, Anh Hoàng Thi, CJ, CP, and Feddy.
Many modern distribution systems also sell imported frozen meat, and so these could also go towards making up for the shortfall from VISSAN, ensuring pork prices remain stable, he added.
A spokesperson said Saigon Co.op is increasing pork purchases from other suppliers such as Anh Hoàng Thi and Nam Phong to cover the decrease in supply from VISSAN.
Saigon Co.op’s retail chains have also increased the supply of cattle meat, poultry and seafood to provide alternatives to consumers.
Other retailers such as Big C, Satra and Aeon have all said they have sufficient supply after increasing purchases from other suppliers.
Shared purchase method proposed
Saigon Co.op on Wednesday suggested that customers, especially to locked-down areas, could adopt a pooled buying method and authorities should allow inter-district delivery and expand the list of goods allowed to be transported since it is difficult to deliver goods amid the city’s lockdowns and curfew.
The retailer could send a list of essential items to locked-down areas and authorities there could choose a representative to collect orders from all residents and pool them. Saigon Co.op could then deliver the goods or the representative could pick them up then distribute them to the buyers.
The two sides could agree in advance on specific dates for the order and delivery, it added. — VNS