The retail sector will seek injunctions if distribution centers are not cleared today. “Supplies are at risk,” says Dominique Michel of Comeos.
Aldi, Colruyt, Lidl and Delhaize have to deal with blocked distribution centers, which seriously complicates the supply of stores. The trade federation Comeos therefore calls on farmers to urgently release the distribution centers.
“We fully understand the situation of the farmers,” says CEO Dominique Michel, “but the distribution centers must now be cleared urgently so that food supplies are not compromised. If this does not happen in the next few hours, legal action will follow.” This means that traders want to use writs to end blockages via bailiffs. Comeos hopes that the dialogue will be sufficient.
Comeos says it sympathizes with the farmers. “We fully understand their difficult situation, but most of the farmers’ problems are at European level,” says Michel. “We are willing to sit down with them to see what we can solve together with the government, the food industry and supermarkets at Belgian level. This week, politicians also announced an initiative for a task force to look for solutions together, and we will of course participate in that.”
But the situation becomes precarious if the distribution centers remain blocked. A distribution center is a particularly essential link in the food supply. One distribution center supplies hundreds of stores. Several centers have already been blocked in the past week and there is no improvement, Comeos notes.
Colruyt says that it has managed to free up the fresh and frozen center in Dasseveld thanks to dialogue. This warehouse was blocked between Wednesday evening and Thursday evening. The Colruyt warehouse in Gellingen, with dry food and drinks, is still closed since Tuesday evening. Distribution centers at Lidl and Aldi are also blocked. At Delhaize this is the case in Ninove. Zellik was also blocked last night.
Michel: “Our essential job, namely supplying our customers, is now at risk. And so the blockages must be lifted. The supermarkets have now gone to court and we have eviction notices. If there is no improvement in the coming hours, the supermarkets will make effective use of it. We hope that it does not have to come to this and that the blockages will disappear everywhere after this long week.”