Wednesday, September 13, 2017
By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
Super Value's owner yesterday reiterated that there was "no need to panic" over concerns that Hurricane Irma's impact on Florida could affect food shipments to the Bahamas.
Rupert Roberts told Tribune Business he had experienced no issues with US-based food suppliers. "During the hurricane I was talking to our suppliers, and they said our warehouse was full and they were ready to ship again," he said.
"Only a small amount of our inventory comes out of Florida. If there is anything that we get out of the US that is in short supply, we just move to another world market. For example, we bring in chicken from Brazil anyway. I don't really see a cause for concern for any one item."
Mr Roberts added that Super Value's warehouse contained three months' worth of inventory valued at "at least $10 million".
"We have $10 million worth of inventory in the warehouse,"he confirmed. "If there is any delay there we can handle it. The orders are rolling in. There is no need to panic. If something does go wrong we would notify the public.
"Florida is just one market; even America is only one market. It's a big world. Most of the produce that comes in from America is not grown there. They import a lot out of Mexico and Peru. I don't see any problems."
Michael Maura, Nassau Container Port's (NCP) chief executive, told Tribune Business earlier this week that Hurricane Irma's shift away from Florida's east coast will likely mean less damage to the four ports responsible for supplying New Providence with 75 per cent of its commercial freight.
As a result, he predicted that vessels belonging to Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), Tropical Shipping and other US carriers that service Nassau would be able to return to their Florida ports come yesterday.