Gas embargo: trade prepares emergency supply

For a few days now, less and less gas has been coming to Germany. Now Ukraine has throttled the transport of Russian gas via the pipelines through its country. At the same time, Russia is threatening a gas embargo if the EU countries do not pay for the deliveries in roubles. A corresponding supply stop would have fatal consequences for the German economy. In the meantime, the trade sector is preparing for an emergency supply for the population.


Gas supplies to Europe throttled

Ten million cubic metres less gas have been arriving from Russia via the pipelines for a few days. The situation threatens to get even worse, as Putin has ordered that the German Gazprom subsidiaries should no longer receive gas. This threatens Germany with a massive supply shortage of many everyday necessities. Also for food.

Gas embargo: Trade prepares emergency supply. In an emergency, retailers will only sell standardised goods in uniform packaging.
Gas embargo: Trade prepares emergency supply. In an emergency, retailers will only sell standardised goods in uniform packaging.

Gas shortage leads to supply bottlenecks

A gas shortage is causing considerable problems for many manufacturers of private label and food products. According to Lebensmittelzeitung, some have already adapted their recipes and packaging due to a lack of materials and are already developing emergency products. Manufacturers of basic materials, such as the chemical company BASF, are already having considerable problems supplying the industry adequately due to supply shortages. BASF boss Martin Brudermüller has already warned of major supply shortages. He said at the company’s annual general meeting: “If natural gas supplies from Russia were to cease overnight, this would lead to irreversible damage to the national economy”.


The federal government’s emergency plan provides for industrial enterprises to be cut off from supplies before private households and social institutions in the event of a supply shortage. The extent to which this can be sustained for long in view of empty shelves for food and everyday necessities is more than questionable.

Producers of consumer goods and food prepare emergency supplies

Some private label manufacturers are already preparing for further cuts. “We are talking to retailers about what a basic recipe looks like in a standard package,” said a representative from the household products sector. The major manufacturers have already agreed to produce detergent, toothpaste, shower gel and similar products, for example, with a uniform recipe and deliver them to retailers in an emergency. The retail chains would then receive a uniform product in only one package. A manager involved said about this in the Lebensmittelzeitung: “I would not call this a planned economy, but a war economy”.


In an emergency, there will only be one-size-fits-all goods in the trade

In the case of food, on the other hand, manufacturers are discussing the omission of ingredients such as sunflower oil. In addition, different varieties of food are also to be eliminated. Ultimately, the measures envisaged will lead to all traders being supplied with standardised goods in an emergency in order to avoid a run on individual discounters or retail chains.

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