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Supply chain issues affecting many sectors, including grocery stores

Road and rail damage caused by flooding in B.C. has been a factor in the supply chain disruptions
MVT Olds co-op
File photo/MVP Staff

OLDS/CARSTAIRS - Supply chain disruptions and slowdowns extending across Western Canada in recent weeks have been impacting a great variety of area businesses, including grocery stores, car dealers, agriculture equipment suppliers and retail outlets.

Westview Co-op is a locally-owned cooperative with grocery stores and gas stations in 11 communities, including Olds, Carstairs and Eagle Hill.

“We are doing what we can to maintain but there are shortages out there and I think everyone is feeling the pain on that,” said Mike Isaak, Westview’s general manager. “Even some of the larger suppliers are reducing their lines to focus on some of the key top lines of products.

“There are challenges and I think there are always going to be challenges with supply. We are adjusting and making changes. Some things are just out of our control and sometimes we don’t even know (what is available) until we get the email updates.”

He declined to go into details about specific products that may be in short supply due to the supply chain issues.

Westview has been working closely with its main wholesaler Federated Co-op Ltd. and others to help find products, he said.

“We are always looking for secondary suppliers and that is part of working with our wholesalers to bring products in through our secondary suppliers,” he said.

Road and rail damage caused by flooding in B.C. has certainly been a factor in the supply chain disruptions, he said.

“That was part of the challenge,” he said. “They’ve had to re-route supply and that has provided some challenges there. There has been some supply chain (issues) with some of the food with what’s been happening in B.C.”

Thankfully the supply chain problems have not impacted employment at Westview, he said.

“We have been fairly fortunate on that side of the business,” he said.

Asked if Westview’s gas station operations have been impacted by supply chain concerns, he said, “At this point, no.”