at least 1.4 million euros worth of food thrown away

With the pandemic, the rules of international transport have been turned upside down. Maritime freight has decreased, delivery times have lengthened, causing a rise in prices, a scarcity of products, but also food waste.

Rising prices, scarcity or even reduction of certain products on the shelves of supermarkets, the health crisis has had consequences on the supply of Reunion.

When containers carrying perishable goods arrive late, the products’ use-by dates have passed and they must be thrown away. A large retailer had to throw away the equivalent of 1.4 million euros in 2021, and one million euros of food in the first quarter.

It is extremely shocking. This is a situation that strikes all the actors of the large distribution and all those who import foodstuffs, this is the reason why I speak of illusion in the dimension of the maritime opening up of Reunion.

Pascal Thiaw-Kine, CEO of Leclerc stores in Reunion

For Pascal Thiaw-Kine, we must produce more, he calls for a review of the economic model of Reunion, to reduce the share of imports.

According to this boss of a large retailer, Reunion finds itself far from the main maritime routes, thus placing it in a situation of isolation. Sea freight has been reduced with the health crisis.

Fewer boats, fewer containers, more delays in delivery and sometimes serious consequences, such as food waste, or also financial, with the soaring prices of certain products.

According to INSEE, the rise in prices is estimated at 4% over one year. For Pascal Thiaw-Kine, CEO of Leclerc stores in Reunion, it would be 2.3% in one year out of nearly 8,700 references.

Inflation is imported. We buy products in mainland France, from our own purchasing center or local wholesalers from manufacturers.

Pascal Thiaw-Kine, CEO of Leclerc stores in Reunion

Basic products, such as cereals and therefore flour, and oil are the two “big markers”. Frozen meat in France is also impacted by the increase in cereal prices, explains Pascal Thiaw-Kine.

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