Food Distributor In Springfield Says Its Suppliers In Puerto Rico Are Not Operational

Sep 25, 2017

Hurricane Maria is creating a challenge for a Massachusetts business.

Latino Food Distributors in Springfield imports food and other products from Puerto Rico, and distributes them to supermarkets and restaurants in the Northeast.

It has about 25 suppliers in Puerto Rico.

Since Maria hit, the company has only heard from three of those suppliers — and none of them are operational.

The company's president, Michael Vallides, said the supply chain disruption is unlike anything he's ever seen.

“When you’re talking about whole factories being destroyed, or power being out for six months, or what have you, it really makes it difficult,” he said.

How is the company coping?

Vallides said it stockpiled goods before the hurricane, and is reaching out to business partners in Puerto Rico to see how the company can help.

This report comes from WBUR.