Coronavirus Is Nipping At The Global Food Supply Chain: Here’s What You Need To Know

Coronavirus Is Nipping At The Global Food Supply Chain: Here’s What You Need To Know
April 23, 2020
Author : Alex

Presently, the Coronavirus has already sent the global food supply chain into a tailspin, with more than ten million people fired out of jobs, as no factory is operating from Wuhan to Bavaria to Michigan.

The sight of empty shelves in the supermarkets out of essential staples combined with sweeping bans on travel and transportation is having a devastating impact on the countries which are grappling with the Coronavirus pandemic.

Thus, in this blog, we will find out whether the food being produced is low or there is some other factor that is tampering the global food supply chain during this COVID-19 outbreak.

The World Currently Produces Enough Food To Feed People, Yet More Than 11% Of The Population Is Starving, Why?

  • The Food supply chain is a complex web of interaction between several components. These include the producers, inputs, moving it, processing units, shipping, etc.
  • With the skyrocketing cases of Coronavirus, every country has put on bans on travelling and transportation. Naturally, there are numerous ways by which the food chain supply is being hampered.
  • Interestingly, there is no scarcity of food being produced in the world; its the scarcity in terms of logistics of moving the food from one part of the world to others.

In this 5-step cycle, only farming and agriculture hasn’t been hampered with the COVID-19 outbreak; rest all the four processes have seen large-scale implications of the current pandemic situations.

This is having a proportional effect on the exchange rates all over the world as well. Due to this, importers are the worst affected. The import system has come to a near halt and turning the world food chain supply upside down.

Exchange rates

Source: Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nation

In the table above, there is a list of different countries with their currencies and how they have changed in the recent pandemic situation.

Let’s Get Straight To The Facts

While we have looked upon the other side of the situation until now, it is time to take you to the current situation where the food producers have so much in stock that it will get wasted now with the shutting down of restaurants.

As per the BBC, these are some of the ways the pandemic COVID-19 is affecting the global food supply chain.

1. 3.7 Million Gallons Of Milk Wasted Daily

It has been estimated by the Dairy Farmers of America that Approximately around 14 million litres of milk are being dumped daily in America.

Not only are the farmers receiving reduced value for their products, but they are also dumping their excessive products due to over-production.

milk production in the US

                        Source: BBC

We have seen how a plethora of coffee shops have been shut down completely in most of the regions around the world. The problem has not only been there in the US, but it has also reached the UK and many other countries in the world. In this situation, an oversupply of milk is the ugliest impact of Coronavirus on food supply chain around the world.

2. Crops getting wasted

Even though the agriculture sector is the least affected by the pandemic conditions, the impact of Coronavirus can be seen in this sector as well. There have been many instances where farmers are letting most of their farms to decompose as a result of not being able to transport their harvest.

Not only in America, the tea planters in Darjeeling, India have also destroyed their precious tea plantations as an impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Let us see how the prices of the three most widely consumed crops all over the world have changed during the current pandemic Coronavirus situations.

The first image if of the prices of Wheat, the second image is of the prices of Maize and the third image is of the prices of Soybean.

prices of wheat graph

prices of maize graph

prices of soybean graph

Source: Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nation

3. Dearth of labour

With the problems of oversupply, the Coronavirus lockdown tops it up with the shortage of workers in different sectors. This is pivoting more difficulties towards retail consumers.

Now that social-distancing has fully taken its course in most of the regions in the world, as a result, national lockdown is contributing to disrupting the usual flow of labour in the world.

Workers play a pivotal role in the food supply chain all over the world and when there are no labourers, the food supply chain is bound to collapse!

4. A shift in the shopping trend

Not only has the COVID-19 outbreak affected the producers and manufacturers all around the world, but it has also affected the ways we now shop.

For instance, in UK people have turned to bake more while staying at homes, naturally, there has been a high demand for flour in the recent few weeks. Similarly, in France, people are shifting towards eating organic food during the current situation.

5. Present stock is changing to being unused

Let’s take an example of the pubs that were being run in different parts of the world before lockdown. A large number of unused barrels in the pubs would get undrinkable by the time we get to see a ‘no-lockdown’ situation.

As a result, the stock that is already there in the bars and pubs will remain unused and wasted.

... But, There’s Something Good To This As Well

To conclude this article, while most of the organisations are running at a loss during this crisis, there are a few that has benefited from the prevailing conditions. If we look at the overall US sales of orange juice, that was initially declining, now show a 38% increase. So, the production of food items hasn’t stopped, its just the transportation that has been affected. Also, several other underlying factors have impacted the global food supply chain, other than the deadly Coronavirus.

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About the Author

Alex

Hello! I have an interest for writing since my college days and hold a relevant experience of four years in academic writing. I’m passionate about words, grammar, punctuation and style and I’ve been known to engage in lengthy discussions about hyphens and compound modifiers as it actually interests me. People call me enthusiastic, optimistic and outgoing. I believe in helping the students with their lengthy assignments which is one of the reason I’ve been associated with My Assignment Services.

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