If you noticed things were a little more sparse than usual at your commissary in Europe here's why: dock problems. Lots and lots of dock problems.
A pretty hefty percentage of food stocked in overseas commissaries is shipped by boat from the states. Other portions of it are airlifted.
That means that when there is a hold-up at any major port in any portion of the world service by the commissary, supplies at the stores are going to be impacted. The latest problem? Protests in France.
Who would've thought totally unrelated to you or any of your groceries political protests would keep you from buying food?
This round of protests has been going off and on for about a month. Commissary officials say the hold-ups resulted in some delays at their distribution centers, but that everything should be good now.
"To date, the port delays have had very minimal effect on the availability of products. The shipments that arrived late were immediately used to restock commissary shelves," Kevin Robinson, a commissary spokesman told me in a statement last week. "There are no shortages at the current time. However, the situation is fluid. Right now, products are moving through the Eurotunnel and the ferry crossings at Calais with minimum delays."
Robinson declined to speculate on how DeCA would deal with any real shortages in Europe if the protests were to get worse. However, we know that in Asia where it's very difficult for the commissary to buy locally sourced fresh food that meets FDA standards (by which the commissary must abide) they ended up airlifting in goods. Local sourcing the UK, however, should be easier -- and I bet they would find a solution that way.