One of Belgium's biggest supermarket chains Colruyt said three of its distribution centres were blocked by protesting farmers, leading to disruptions in its supply chain.
Farmers across numerous European countries have taken to the streets and blocked roads and highways to voice their discontent about pay, taxes and green rules, and unfair competition from abroad.
Centres located in Ollignies, Ghislenghien and Halle in central western Belgium, which supply Colruyt's Belgian shops with dry food, water and drinks, and fresh and frozen products, were no longer accessible.
'At the moment, stock is still available in our shops... (but) it is inevitable that products will eventually be missing from the shelves,' Colruyt said in a statement, adding that it was difficult to make definitive statements on timing as shops have different stock levels.
Focus On Local Sourcing
'Colruyt Group has always focused on sourcing locally as much as possible and succeeds very well in this for many categories,' the store chain said. It added it understood farmers' concerns but did not see blockades as a solution to them.
In a separate statement, the group said almost 100% of its meat, milk and eggs came from Belgium, while 75% of fruit and vegetables were of that origin.
Colruyt Group operates in food and non-food sector in Belgium, France and Luxembourg with more than 700 own stores and approximately 580 affiliated stores and employs more than 32,000 employees across the markets it operates in.
Its food retail unit operating in Belgium and Luxembourg generated €3.54 billion of revenue in the first half of its shifted 2023-2024 financial year.