Musgrave, the retail group behind grocery chains SuperValu and Centra, has contacted suppliers asking for information on the predicted effect of coronavirus on their supply chains.
In an email, seen by the Sunday Independent, suppliers have been asked whether there is any immediate, medium-term or long-term predicted effect on supply as a result of the coronavirus.
The email, which focuses on Musgrave's own-brand products, asks if there is a risk to own-brand product supply, if product components such as packaging or ingredients could be affected, what products could be affected and what plans were in place to mitigate these risks and ensure supply.
Musgrave confirmed the move to contact its suppliers was part of its existing business continuity plans. In a statement to the Sunday Independent, the Cork-based retail group said it had been working with suppliers to build up stock and had also increased its holding of stock.
"Musgrave is closely monitoring the developing situation in relation to the coronavirus and is in regular liaison with relevant stakeholders in line with our existing business continuity plans," it said.
"As part of our existing business continuity plans, we have worked with suppliers to build up stock levels and increased our own stockholding.
"As a result, we are advising consumers that there is no need to change their shopping habits, as there is sufficient stock within the supply chain."
The Musgrave Group is Ireland's largest private-sector employer and supports more than 41,000 jobs, in more than 1,400 stores and offices. It had revenues of €3.9bn in 2018.
The company which received the email from Musgrave also received a similar email from one of the top four supermarkets in the UK.
In the email, the supermarket asks its suppliers if they could identify which products have supply risk due to coronavirus. It specifies products containing ingredients or packaging made in China or affected areas of Italy.
The supermarket asked for any steps it can take to mitigate any supply risk.
The email, sent towards the end of February, included a spreadsheet which suppliers were asked to fill out and send back by the first week of March.
Separately, BWG, which owns the retail convenience brand Spar, also confirmed it was in "ongoing contact" with its 650 suppliers here.
Sunday Indo Business