After stage four restrictions were announced by the Victorian Premier on August 2, Melburnians wasted no time returning to panic buying.
Coles and Woolworths were quick to act, putting limits on certain products with meat restricted to two per person, or 1kg limit if buying from the butcher. With tougher restrictions across the state, some food supply is likely to be affected by the lockdown. Daniel Andrews even warned of gaps on the shelves during his press conference on Monday, August 3. He followed it up by saying that Victorians should be able to find everything they need and urged against buying more than that. mayhem and panic buying of the last nationwide lockdown, experts are predicting a better response to shortages this time around. This is due to better preparedness and that any shortages will only occur in Victoria. However, a meat shortage will not be caused solely by panic buying but is likely due to the industry operating with less staff, as only essential services are business as usual. The Australian Meat Industry Council CEO Patrick Hutchinson told the ABC this loss of staff will result in less meat for customers. "Overall it would move towards a 30 per cent reduction, give or take, in supply chain production, which would in turn lead to a reduction of saleable meat within the Victorian community, as well as a reduction in the opportunity for product to also be exported around the world," says Partick Hutchinson. A Woolworths spokesperson told the ABC that the supermarket chain is confident of maintaining a good supply of fresh food to Victorian customers.