surinenglish

Availability yes, demand no

There would not be space in a thousand of these columns to include the hard-luck stories coming out of the hostelry sectors as a result of the Coronavirus. Restaurant groups are living their grimmest days, but it is also the suppliers who have to stand and watch as the material they would normally sell goes to waste.

One of Spain's largest meat wholesalers chose the wrong time to breed 13 different strains of beef animals in Galicia with the object of producing the best mature beef ever offered. The crisis got under way just as the first prime aged chuletones were ready for delivery. The investment runs into hundreds of thousands of euros, and this will be lost if the meat, currently in cold chambers, has to be frozen.

Nearer home there is a sadder story involving live animals, titled Save a Goat from Hunger. The recently booming goat's cheese business that has been developed in the local sierras over the last few years has been seriously handicapped by the current lack of demand. Serious problems are occurring just at the time of year when the goats are in top condition for producing milk. The 24 artisan cheese makers, who in many cases are the main employers of labour in some villages, may have to pour the milk down the drain.

We know that wine producers are among those with the most to lose in financial terms, but wine dealers are experiencing a downturn unparalleled in history. Many of these only have restaurants and hotels as their customers, so the hardships they are experiencing does not need to be spelt out. Fortunately wine, unlike meat or milk, can be stored for extended periods without harm, but sitting in a bodega it is dead money.