The need for strengthening food supply chains in a post pandemic society

supply and demand
© Igor Bukhlin

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply and demand, staff shortages and the ongoing lockdown situations became key issues around the globe for many sectors. The agricultural market was no different.

Applied Animal Science explores how protein and agricultural supply chains in particular were faced with challenges in the face of the pandemic and the lessons that need to be learned.

The pandemic shifted supply and demand in the food industry rapidly, in the beginning months of the outbreak, panic buying became an international frenzy. With people buying food and hygiene products in bulk, shops were being emptied far faster than ever before, resulting in supply chains increasing production to meet this demand.

As the panic subsided, the agricultural industry was hit hard in the following slump of conservative purchasing as John D. Anderson, PHD, the study’s lead author explained. “Demand was negatively affected both by the near-total loss of food service outlets and by a consumer shift to precautionary saving.

According to Anderson, the meat industry experienced, a significant “increase in production and price risks and a dramatic widening of marketing margins.” Following the past two year of food insecurity following the ongoing pandemic, Animal Applied Science is pointing out the need for more robust food supply chains.

Clearly more needs to be done to ensure food security and the companies that produce it.

With larger food firms having the advantage of increasing resilience through improved efficiency, adoption of tech and global marketing, smaller companies need to protect themselves after their obvious vulnerabilities have been exposed over the last two years.

Authors at Applied Animal Science discussed the ways in which public interest resulted in research and investment into a shortening of food supply chains and an expansion of local and regional systems.

The study showed how both supply and demand shifted in an entirely new way due to the pandemic and has pointed out the vulnerabilities in the current food supply chains around the world.


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