The pandemic’s impact on the food industry reaches from farm to table with both temporary and permanent changes. The initial impact has been positive in some sub-sectors, while disastrous in others, and but one thing is common across all sub-sectors: the need to adapt and ultimately stabilize businesses for long-term sustainability and less vulnerability to shocks.
Some of the key impacts:
- Sales of food staples (e.g., pasta, sauces, breads, etc.) are significantly higher
- Specialty and prepared foods sales are significantly lower
- Rent and landlord negotiations are critical for many sectors
- Customer demand is unexpected in some areas, but generally causing stress within organizations and supply chains
- Health safety procedures causing productivity declines and increased overhead costs (i.e., use of PPE, mandatory social distancing in manufacturing and aggregation environments, and temperature checks)
- Availability of both trained and untrained labor causing productivity declines, reductions in output, and increased focus on personnel and human resources matters.