Big box wholesalers open to all needing groceries; PM Rutte visits supermarket staff

Prime Minster Mark Rutte visiting an Albert Heijn in The Hague during the Covid-19 crisis, 19 March 2020
Prime Minster Mark Rutte visiting an Albert Heijn in The Hague during the Covid-19 crisis, 19 March 2020Mark Rutte, Minister-presidentFacebook

Self-service wholesalers like Makro and Sligro will temporarily open to consumers during the coronavirus crisis, the association for supermarkets and food service companies CBL announced on Thursday. This forms part of an emergency package that the food sector presented to Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Wednesday. 

Wholesalers are usually only open to businesses. But as restaurants and other catering businesses are largely closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, wholesalers do not have much business at this stage. "These self-service wholesalers are currently still full of good products, which otherwise would have to be largely thrown away," CBL chairman Bert Roetert said in a letter to the government, according to NU.nl.

On Thursday Prime Minister Mark Rutte paid a visit to a Hague hospital and an Albert Heijn in the city, to show support for the people working to keep the Netherlands running through this crisis. "I expressed my great admiration and appreciation for their hard work," Rutte said on Facebook. 

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