The jobs of eight workers are threatened as Coles is providing Uncle Edy’s only a fraction of the 140 litres of milk a week it needs for making coffee and icecream.
Owner Darren Burton (pictured) says he’s been buying that quantity, including some from Woolworths, for seven and a half years but he is now trapped in the supply restrictions, four litres of milk a day per buyer, to combat Coronavirus panic buying.
Mr Burton says he has pleaded with Coles, making the point he is only trying to buy what he always has been, but to no avail. He says the supply trouble is adding to the drop in tourism numbers, youth crime and the burden of a huge rent for his cafe at the southern end of the Mall – $2000 a week.
He may need to end the practice over many years of selling coffee to people in uniform – including ambulance crews, nurses and police – for half price.
Coles, when asked to comment, made no reference to the problems encountered by Mr Burton but issued a statement that said in part:
“We have opened three new distribution centres in the Territory. We’re also recruiting up to 50 new casual team members across our eight stores in the NT to help replenish shelves and serve our customers as quickly as possible.”