Food and grocery manufacturers are facing some challenges accessing some ingredients and packaging in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus but it’s nothing that can’t be handled.

Suppliers have no general concerns about their ability to continue to supply the vast majority of food and grocery items. Apart from some products, such as hand sanitiser, which has been well-publicised, we have no significant concerns for other products being in short supply.

Some types of packaging and ingredients that are imported from China have run short, but alternatives are being sourced elsewhere, including from Australia. These are challenges that food and grocery manufacturers face from time to time, and there are always other sources to get most things.

There’s more than enough of most products to get New Zealand through, but there might be some products where we have to crank up local manufacturing and production. We’ve got capacity to make most things and if this event worsens it could be that we’ll have to get back to doing that for some products.

None of this is reason for concern. New Zealand will never run out of food. We make a lot of food for the world, so we are completely able to feed ourselves.

See the NZ Herald report on this statement