Robin Whitbread, Sainsbury’s Director of Retail, said “We are taking the current fuel situation very seriously and are looking to Government to take urgent action to ensure that fuel is directed to the food chain to maintain the availability of food. For our part, we are coping with this situation with a general good availability of stock although there is some variability between stores”.

We are giving precedence to getting food into our stores and have prioritised the delivery of essential foods such as bread, milk, fresh foods and baby foods.

In addition to the deliveries of fresh bread into stores, all of our 440 in-store bakeries are now working round the clock producing our mainstream fresh bread lines. We have a good supply of fresh and long life milk.

We are working with suppliers of essential foods to help them to get their products through to our customers in store. With our e-commerce offering ‘Sainsbury’s to you’ we have also prioritorised the availability of essential lines and are endeavouring to fill orders.

In the main, our customers have been very understanding. We will not be imposing rationing on a nationwide basis at this stage, and hope that this will not be necessary, but shortages at local level may require some control by individual store managers. Our staff have also been hugely supportive and have made every effort to get to work.