UK Government hits back at newspaper claims shops could soon run out of wine and beer
The UK Government has hit back at claims supermarkets, shops and off-licences could soon run out of wine and beer amid an unprecedented demand.
The Daily Telegraph ran an article on Monday, claiming there was increased demand for alcohol “ahead of an anticipated Covid-19 lockdown.”
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said the claims are, “simply not true and The Daily Telegraph did not approach us for a comment on this story.”
The piece, said DEFRA, is referring to claims from a “small number of industry commentators” who said the country is at risk of running out of alcohol as importers prioritised food and other supplies.
DEFRA said: “Despite the headline of the article, the Government has been clear it will do whatever it takes to ensure people have the food, drink and supplies they need.
Our supermarkets have repeatedly said we have all the stock we need to meet demand and the food supply chain is even able to expand production further if needed to meet any increased demand.”
A Government spokesperson said:
“It is untrue to claim the UK could run out of wine, beer or other drinks. Supermarkets have been clear we have all the supplies we need and this includes alcohol.
Retailers are continuing to monitor their supply chains and taking all the necessary steps to ensure consumers have the food, drink and supplies they need.”
DEFRA said supermarkets are continuing to monitor their supply chains and “are already taking action to limit the supply of certain items to make sure shelves are stocked.”
The Government last week agreed to relax competition laws so retailers can work together to keep shops open and stocked.
“This involves sharing data on stock levels, pooling staff to meet demand, or sharing distribution depots and delivery vans.
Government has also been working with local authorities to extend delivery hours to supermarkets so shelves can be replenished more quickly.” DEFRA said
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