FGC statement correcting Herald on Sunday report

Press Release 05/09/2010

Today’s Herald on Sunday article “Many Cantabrians still without water and power” includes comments attributed to the Food and Grocery Council (FGC), which are not correct.

The article says, “Food and Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich said some supermarkets would limit products”. This is not correct and no such comment was made.

“FGC had received no reports and has been given no such indication from any supermarket that this would be done in the future.

“When a reporter telephoned and said the newspaper had received reports of a supermarket limiting water, Mrs Rich made the comment that she “wouldn’t be surprised” if a supermarket had made that decision in the short term, but getting additional water supplies wouldn’t be a concern. The reporter agrees that this is what was said.

Mrs Rich also said that comments regarding the detail of limiting water were best sourced from either Foodstuffs or Progressive as FGC represented grocery suppliers and not the supermarket chains.

The Food and Grocery Council spent some time yesterday emphasising from a grocery supply perspective that while there were some challenges, there was no cause for alarm, and supply to supermarkets in Canterbury would be maintained.

All our members have been working hard to ensure consistent supply. FGC members have contingency plans in place to deal with significant events like these.

The Food and Grocery Council does not expect and has not predicted or expected that there will be “a lot of panic buying” in the Canterbury region as a result of this traumatic event, said Mrs Rich.

The story also refers to Mr Pierre Van Heerden as the Food and Grocery Council Chairman. Pierre is FGC’s deputy Chairman. Mr George Adams, who was also interviewed for the article, is FGC’s Chairman.