Liloa II at the Avatiu harbour yesterday. 20050633/ 20050634
Locals’ favourite rice and garlic are back on the shop shelves after the arrival of new shipment yesterday.
Liloa II brought in a much needed relief to shops and customers who have been missing some vital supplies for the past couple of weeks.
The Sunrise brand rice which is highly sought after in Rarotonga and the outer islands because of its reasonable pricing was part of the cargo.
Garlic had been missing from the shelves of most stores for the past week or more. Other fruits and vegetables such as apples were also running low – but they were all part of yesterday’s freight arrival.
CITC food group manager Jason Burgess said the Covid-19 crisis had affected the frequency of the air and sea freights.
But Burgess said they were doing their best to ensure they had enough stock to last them until the next shipment.
“The airfreight is quite expensive so we mostly have to rely on the sea freight but the schedules change from time to time so it’s quite challenging to ensure all stocks are available until the next shipment,” Burgess said.
Earlier the local agents of Matson Shipping indicated freight shipping schedules for Cook Islands would not be affected by the coronavirus crisis.
However there were some changes in ships schedules recently after Matson recorded a significant downturn in freight volumes to the Pacific.
It also replaced Olomana with Island Chief, which is scheduled to arrive Rarotonga on May 21 and Aitutaki May 23.
Matson also said it was committed to taking all appropriate steps to ensure the continuation of services.
“We are monitoring developments closely and ensuring compliance with local and international government reporting and prevention directives at sea and ashore.”