"Looming food crisis" unless global supply chain t
23 March 2020 - Media Release - Fresh Food Portal
The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that Covid-19's
negative impacts will lead to a worldwide food crisis unless measures are taken fast to
mitigate the pandemic's effects across the food system.
It says that both supply and demand will fall due to uncertainty in global markets. The
compounding effects of "border closures, quarantines and market, supply chain and trade
disruptions could restrict people access to sufficient...sources of food", FAO analysts said in
Disruptive forces in the "complex web" of the global food supply chain that are currently
happening as a result of Covid-19 will inevitably lead to strain, logistical challenges and
labor shortages, it details. It anticipates that transport challenges and blockages will be
"particularly obstructive for fresh food supply chains" like fruits and veggies.
However, we might not yet see the negative impact of these changes in the fresh produce
sector. This is likely because lower production volumes coming from the fruit and vegetable
industries currently are "not yet noticeable because of the lockdowns and disruption in the
Following these disruptions, the FAO states that it expects to see big shifts in the food
supply chains in April and May.
Speaking on those who may be most impacted by Covid-19's market, supply chain, and food
security implications, the FAO lays out specific areas to be aware of and how it will confront
food insecurity in the upcoming months.
The organization is particularly concerned about countries that are already grappling with
hunger and social or political crises. As the pandemic will likely cause hunger and food
insecurity on a larger scale, there are some communities that will be more impacted than
others, it explains.
Most vulnerable populations amid a potential food security crisis may be small-scale farmers
who have restricted or entirely severed connections with essential avenues, purchasing
power, and supply chains.
Children are also considered part of the at risk groups globally as many kids depend upon
meal programs that are currently not operating or have limited access - like in Latin
America and the Caribbean where 85 million children utilize FAO-supported food security
In response to the ongoing crisis, FAO says that it's sharing global policy advice to spread
guidelines to ensure food supply chains are protected and populations receive necessary
supplies. In particular, it is interested in lessening negative impacts in developing countries