War in Ukraine. In Belgium, the time has come for the first food rationing

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the managers of supermarket chains established in Belgium have noted an increase “abnormal” the consumption of certain products. For this reason, they have taken a preventive measure that aims to avoid the accumulation of stocks by their customers: they have decided to ration purchases.

Colruyt, the main supermarket chain in the country, was the first to make this choice on Friday, March 18. Thus, in the section where oil and flour are sold, a specific sign now mentions: “Maximum two pieces per customer.” The company explained that this choice was not dictated by scarcity, but by the desire to avoid it.

Maximum three bottles of oil

Shortly after, Aldi made a similar decision. In his stores, the rule is as follows: customers can buy a maximum of three bottles of oils, three packages of wheat flour and three preparations for making bread per receipt. Once again, customers are informed through specific posters on the shelves.

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“Currently, our supplier is able to keep up with production but, due to the sudden increase in sales of these products, the supply chain unfortunately cannot keep up”justified an Aldi manager in Belgium to the newspaper The night.

As for the strong discount brands, Lidl has made the same choice. Purchases of oil, canned vegetables and toilet paper are also restricted. Objective: to prevent the shelves from being empty, so that a greater part of the population can access these products. “We make a constructive call for solidarity and for there to be something for everyone and therefore buy only what is necessary”a Lidl spokesman told the last hour.

“The situation has evolved”

“The situation has evolved”confirms a spokeswoman for Carrefour in Belgium interviewed by The nightillustrating the impact of the war in Ukraine on buying habits. Thanks to the messages they collected, several consumers changed their behavior and we noticed an increase in demand for certain products.”

Carrefour has not made a global decision for all its stores located in Belgium. The decision about rationing is left to each point of sale manager.

“People are running for basic necessities that will all end up in the trash in six months, because no one will have used them. Flour, we will find it in the garbage in a year, because there will be inside, because no one will. I have made a cakelaments Yann, a Belgian consumer, on rfi mic.

What about France?

In France, the big retailers have not taken any rationing measures for the moment. In spite of everything, the evolution of stocks is closely followed. Dominique Schelcher, the president of System U, has clearly warned that it will surely only be a matter of time before this type of decision becomes effective in France.

“76% of the sunflower oil that circulates in the world comes from Russia: in two or three months we will run out of sunflower oil, especially for everything that goes into recipes for ready meals”warned, on Thursday, March 17, on the waves of Franceinfo.

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The government has decided to take the initiative. As part of the resilience plan to deal with the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine, all a section was dedicated to the agricultural sector. One of the announced objectives is, in particular, “to ensure” producers and processors, as well as “agricultural and food production from 2022”.

Among the actions taken, there is in particular the desire to “Insure the 2022 campaign in payment” and “produce more vegetable protein”.

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