PEOPLE are going to have to use their loaf when it comes to trying to find where bread is sold.
It comes after Warburtons, one of the nation’s largest bakers, revealed it will be not be delivering to small businesses for the next fortnight.
The matter was brought to the attention of The Correspondent by Alison Doubleday from Mossley Post Office and Newsagents.
Alison said: “We are an independent shop and have just been advised by Warburtons they won’t be delivering to small businesses for the next two weeks.
“They haven’t given any notice, it’s happening from tomorrow (Friday, March 27). So the supermarkets are about to are about to get a whole lot busier and another nail in the coffin for small ones.”
However, Warburtons, which has a 24 per cent share of the UK’s bread market, have defended their decision, claiming they have been forced to reduce the number of drops because of a shortage of drivers due to illness and self-isolation.
Warburtons, in a statement, said: “This is an incredibly difficult time for people and businesses across the country and we are doing our best to bake and deliver as much food as possible, every single day. But it isn’t easy and we must also look after our own people.
“Our drivers are working harder and longer than ever before trying to get to as many stores as we can but we just don’t have as many people as we would like to get to every customer we normally would serve.
“As a company that prides itself on its direct to store delivery, this is a really difficult decision to make and one we haven’t taken lightly.
“We are looking at other ways we can support our smaller customers and have improved the stock available in wholesalers for example, we will also do our best to ensure isolated rural communities are impacted as little as possible as well. As soon as we can change things, we will.”
In a statement from chairman Jonathan Warburton on its website, he also explained that some products are not being baked for the foreseeable future.
He said: “We’re working closely with our retail partners to get as much product as possible into stores every day.
“To make sure we can bake for longer periods of time and therefore bake more products overall, we have taken the decision to concentrate on a core range of products – toastie, medium and thickest white loaves, farmhouse and wholemeal loaves, crumpets, white rolls, bagels, sandwich thins, potato cakes, pancakes and muffins.
“We know this may be disappointing for those looking for your favourite product but we believe it is important to get more bread to more shops.
“We hope you understand. As soon as we can start making more of our range again, we will let you know.
“And we would ask you respectfully to please only take what you need to there is enough for everybody.
“Supporting our communities is more important now than perhaps it has ever been. Throughout this difficult time, we will continue to donate to foodbanks and local community groups as much as we can and will be working with other partners to see what more can be done.
“We’d like to thank our colleagues across the country who are working tirelessly in baking and delivering bread. Their tremendous efforts mean we are able to do our utmost to deliver fresh bread to stores every day.”