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Coronavirus Disrupting Global Food Chain

Reuters says the coronavirus outbreak is disrupting the global food supply chain and causing labor shortages in agriculture around the world. 

Panic buying by shoppers cleared supermarket shelves, creating a perception of food shortages. 

However, retailers and authorities say there are no underlying shortages and supplies of most products will be replenished. 

The logistics for getting food from the field to the plate are feeling the effects of COVID-19. 

In the short term, the lack of air freight and trucker shortages are slowing down fresh food deliveries. 

In the longer term, Reuters says a lack of available labor will affect planting and harvesting. 

If it goes on long enough, it could cause some shortages and rising prices for staple crops. 

As spring starts in Europe, farmers are trying to find enough workers to pick strawberries and asparagus, after border closures shut down the usual flow for migrant labor. 

Wide-scale crop losses are likely in India as a lockdown has sent large numbers of workers home, leaving farms and markets short as staple crops like wheat are almost ready for harvest. 

Food firms typically buy supplies in advance. 

However, long-term rising commodity prices will eventually be passed on to consumers.


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