As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wage a silent war across the country, American farmers are being forced to pour out milk, crush eggs, toss fresh fruits and vegetables, euthanize livestock and plow under perfectly robust crops
Meanwhile, financially beleaguered Americans are lining up at food banks in unprecedented numbers, humanitarian leaders fear a global starvation pandemic is burgeoning, and grocery store shelves are sparsely filled.
So what has gone wrong?
A dramatic dip in demand, weak links in the highly consolidated supply chain, and decades of industry monopolization, experts say.
“A large portion of our food is now produced for restaurants, hotels, schools, and institutional users, about 50 percent. Those markets have effectively closed up, and there is not enough demand for home use now,” Dan Glickman, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, told Fox News. “Nor is the supply chain set up for this rapid transformation.”
From his purview, the supply chain has become very centralized, especially in meat and poultry.
“This move towards concentration of food processing has been a general trend for many years and has been done for efficiency and cost-cutting purposes. But we now see how it is impacted by a single event like COVID-19, where workers have been so impacted,” Glickman continued. “Four companies control about 70 percent of meat production. We no longer have a decentralized food production process, at least not to the extent of 30 years ago.” – READ MORE
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