Australia’s federal agriculture minister, David Littleproud, has announced the country’s supply chain will not be affected by coronavirus shutdowns.
A number of measures, including the closure of state and territory borders, have been enacted to stop the spread of the virus.
Littleproud said food production and supply is an essential service, and it won’t be impacted.
“The commonwealth is guaranteeing food production and supply as we deal with the virus’s spread,” said Littleproud.
“I am inconstant dialogue with farming groups, the States, supermarkets and my department to make sure there’s food on the table for all Australians.
“That means State-imposed border shutdowns will not affect agricultural supply chains. The trucks carrying food and produce will get through to the shops,” he added.
Across the country, freight lanes are being kept clear to ensure supply arrives on time.
Littleproud stressed the need for consumers to stop panic-buying items.
“The food will arrive fresh and on time at their local supermarket the same as it’s always done, and consumers don’t need added pressure of senseless hoarding. Australians should stay calm and know Australian agriculture will be there for them,” he said.
“Maintaining food production, access to workers, agricultural supply lines, transportation and logistics is absolutely critical and will not be affected by any of the measures aimed at curbing the virus’s spread.”