Big stations feeding many staff and homesteads situated kilometres from town now have greater assurance of stocked pantries, thanks to a concerted effort from a variety of peak lobby groups.
The severity of the situation resulted in the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association calling on the federal government to intervene and bring in the Australian Defence Force if necessary.
Along with the National Farmers Federation and the Cattle Council of Australia, the NTCA urgently prioritised the issue at regular meetings of the Food and Grocery Sector Group, established some years ago by the federal government to maintain continuity of food supplies during national emergencies.
According to NFF general manager for trade and economics Pru Gordon, they were notified last week that supermarkets were putting processes in place to manage bulk buying needs.
"We understand Woolworths will use its rewards card to identify customers more than 100km from a rural store to process their orders as usual," she said. "If they're coming into the store they will have to carry the email they received from the store and have ID."
This was confirmed by a Woolworths spokeswoman who said they were working to provide some flexibility on limits to existing remote customers where they had the product available in a store.
To allow these customers flexibility on their orders, the store manager will need to manually handle the process, which may take teams longer to fulfil.
Saying she appreciated the food limits were frustrating for remote customers, the Woolworths spokeswoman added that its pick-up service had been recently reinstated in many rural towns.
"The introduction of product limits has been a difficult but necessary decision to help us manage the unprecedented demand we've seen across our stores recently," she said.
It's understood that Coles is extending their existing remote customer order system where people register online, entering their address details to verify their remoteness.
This story originally appeared on the North Queensland Register.
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