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COVID-19 and the agri-food system in the United States and Canada

Alfons Weersink, Mike von Massow, Nicholas Bannon, Jennifer Ifft, Josh Maples, Ken McEwan, Melissa G.S. McKendree, Charles Nicholson, Andrew Novakovic, Anusuya Rangarajan, Timothy Richards, Bradley Rickard, James Rude, Meagan Schipanski, Gary Schnitkey, Lee Schulz, Daniel Schuurman, Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein, Mark Stephenson, Jada Thompson () and Katie Wood

Agricultural Systems, 2021, vol. 188, issue C

Abstract: Agri-food supply chains in North America have become remarkably efficient, supplying an unprecedented variety of items at the lowest possible cost. However, the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the near-total temporary loss of the foodservice distribution channel, exposed a vulnerability that many found surprising. Instead of continued shortages, however, the agri-food sector has since moved back to near normal conditions with prices and production levels similar to those typically observed in years prior to the pandemic. Ironically, the specialization in most food supply chains designed for “just-in-time” delivery to specific customers with no reserve capacity, which led to the initial disruptions, may have also been responsible for its rapid rebound. A common theme in assessing the impacts across the six commodities examined is the growing importance of understanding the whole supply chain.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; Supply chains; Demand shifts; Labour health; Disruptions; Automation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2020.103039

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