COVID-19 in Qatar: Government says sufficient food and consumer goods for one year

By Guan Yu Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Qatar has recently signed agreements with 14 food companies to raise the state’s strategic stock of food commodities ©Getty Images
Qatar has recently signed agreements with 14 food companies to raise the state’s strategic stock of food commodities ©Getty Images

Related tags: Middle east, qatar, COVID-19

Qatar says it has enough stock of food and consumer goods to meet demand for at least one year, as the Middle East continues to battle the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This is according to His Excellency Mr. Ali bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Qatar’s Minister of Commerce and Industry.

Qatar recently signed agreements with 14 food companies to raise the state’s strategic stock of food commodities, including wheat, rice, edible oils, sugar, frozen red meat, long-life milk, and powdered milk.

The 14 companies are Qatar Flour Mills, the National Food Industries, Qatar National Import and Export company, Widam Food company, Baladna Food Industries, Al Mana and Partners, Al Rawabi, the International Foundation for Wildlife Research, Al Majid and Jawad (Amjad), Crystal Food Oil Factory, Tazweed for Trading and Catering, Nestle Qatar Trading, Suncons Trading And Contracting, and Bludan Trading Group.

Import continues

The minister emphasised that Qatar’s strategic stock of subsidised supplies was sufficient to cover demand for over a year, noting that the state continues to import all kinds of food products from different sources and countries through air cargo and sea ports.

He stressed the importance of maintaining market stability and highlighted the ministry’s  monitoring of the availability of food and consumer goods across all retail outlets, malls and supermarkets.

Qatar has launched an electronic system to manage and monitor its strategic stock.

The system provides access to data such as types and quantities, storage methods and quality, available storage space across warehouses and their locations, suppliers and distribution points, and enables the monitoring and management of all elements of the supply chain from import, storage, recycling and distribution, to national production.

He added that prices had remained stable with no impact on the abundance of goods, food and consumer products.

Imports are also continuing at the same pace and contingency plans have been implemented to address any shortage in goods.

He also noted the role of retail outlets in meeting consumers’ needs and storing the necessary supplies in warehouses to replenish shelves and ensure the availability of products regardless of the level of demand.

He emphasised that merchants and stores that refrain from selling the products or attempt to take advantage of the crisis will face the maximum penalties under Consumer Protection Law No. 8 of 2008, which include the closure of the retail outlet and a fine.

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