Save-On-Foods confirmed all shipments in and out of the Lower Mainland are on hold due to current road conditions, and said and all avenues are being explored to get products to their stores as quickly as possible. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Save-On-Foods confirmed all shipments in and out of the Lower Mainland are on hold due to current road conditions, and said and all avenues are being explored to get products to their stores as quickly as possible. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

North Okanagan-Shuswap grocers adjusting to supply chain disruption due to highway closures

Armstrong Regional Cooperative says fuel supply chain currently unaffected

A B.C. grocer is encouraging its customers in Salmon Arm and elsewhere to maintain regular shopping habits as options are being explored for deliveries delayed by recent highway closures.

With the closure of major routes connecting the Lower Mainland to the Interior, the Salmon Arm Observer contacted local businesses to see how they might be affected.

Salmon Arm Save-On-Foods manager Tony Nikic said his store was still well-supplied, and advised contacting Save-On- Foods’ media relations team for further information regarding shipments originating from the Lower Mainland.

In an email, Save-On-Foods media relations confirmed all shipments in and out of the Lower Mainland are on hold based on the current road conditions, and said all avenues are being explored “to get product to our stores as quickly as possible.”

“We’re asking our customers to maintain normal shopping habits,” read the email. “This will help our team members to keep the shelves full for everyone. We understand that these are uncertain times and many people just want to do what’s right for their families. Thank you for your patience.”

Askew’s Foods general manager Dave Wallace said the majority of their groceries come from Edmonton and Calgary. However, he said about 80 per cent of the Salmon Arm-based grocer’s dairy and produce comes from the Lower Mainland.

Read more: Product shortage at Okanagan grocery stores, due to highway closures

Read more: Heavy rains, mudslides cause railway service disruptions in B.C.

“Right now we are not able to receive any of those shipments so we are working very hard at getting replacement deliveries from Calgary and Edmonton,” said Wallace, assuring there is no need to be concerned with shortages.

“The majority of our groceries come from Calgary and we received a delivery this morning,” said Wallace. “We are not anticipating any shortfall in our grocery deliveries.”

Wallace was also thankful for local suppliers who provide the four Askew’s stores (uptown and downtown Salmon Arm, Armstrong and Sicamous) with meat, produce, eggs and dairy.

Regarding gasoline, Armstrong Regional Cooperative (ARC) general manager Jeff Payne said at this point the ARC is confident its fuel supply chain remains in place and unaffected by the highway closures affecting other routes in and out of our service area.

“Our fuel is provided to us by truck primarily from the Ashcroft terminals, to which trains supply the fuel from our refinery in Regina,” Payne explained by email, adding there are currently no road or rail closures or obstructions on the supply routes.

“Having said that, the logistics behind keeping a roster of drivers in play is always challenging and can be complicated by factors outside our control. The area we are watching intently for flooding is the Juniper Beach Park area, 17 kilometres east of Cache Creek. However, there could be others on the route.”

Another factor causing concern, said Payne, is the traffic that may be added to the Trans-Canada Highway should it be the route that opens first, and “how that would affect traffic from Ashcroft to our service area.”

The ARC owns and operates Co-op branded facilities in Vernon, Armstrong, Salmon Arm, Canoe and Scotch Creek and ARC liquor stores in Kelowna and Vernon.

Deliveries may also be delayed to and from local Canada Post outlets.

On Nov. 16, the national postal service issued a yellow alert for Western Canada stating that due to adverse weather conditions, including flooding and debris slides in B.C., there are multiple road closures affecting transportation of mail and parcels across Western Canada. Customers were warned deliveries may be delayed.

In an email, Canada Post media spokesperson Phil Legault said all lettermail items and mail that cannot be delivered are being held in safe and secure Canada Post facilities until contingency plans are in place.


lachlan@saobserver.net
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