Global Food Crisis - The COVID-19 Pandemic has Exposed Vulnerabilities Across Supply Chains, but New Technology Could Ease Long-Term Pressures

Global Food Crisis - The COVID-19 Pandemic has Exposed Vulnerabilities Across Supply Chains, but New Technology Could Ease Long-Term Pressures

  • November 2021 •
  • 13 pages •
  • Report ID: 6184625 •
  • Format: PDF
Global Food Crisis - The COVID-19 Pandemic has Exposed Vulnerabilities Across Supply Chains, but New Technology Could Ease Long-Term Pressures

In what has been described by the United Nations (UN) as a ‘global emergency’, food and beverage prices around the world have reached new highs in the latter half of 2021. Although supply chain disruptions, unstable trade relationships, demand fluctuations, and unequal global access to adequate nutrition have long plagued the food and beverage industry, such issues have been seriously compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationwide lockdowns and social distancing measures have greatly hindered production, whilst international border restrictions have created difficulties in importing and exporting commodities. This has meant that as society begins to reopen amid global vaccination rollouts, demand for food and beverage products is outpacing supply and driving prices up. Nevertheless, by exposing existing flaws within the industry, the COVID-19 pandemic has also brought the need for more secure, resilient, and equal supply chains to light. This could act as a catalyst for positive change as food and beverage producers around the world adopt new strategies and resources, such as technology, to implement long-term structural reforms.

Key Highlights
- Concerns regarding food security have been mounting in recent years as a result of tensions in global trade relationships, outdated agricultural production methods, viral disease outbreaks in animals reared for consumption, and the increasing prevalence of extreme weather conditions amid a growing climate crisis. However, these issues have reached new heights during the COVID-19 outbreak, largely as a result of labor shortages and supply chain disruptions resulting from pandemic-related restrictions. This has caused global food prices to increase by 31.1% Y-o-Y in October 2021, according to the FAO.
- This dramatic increase has been bolstered by surging demand in China following the gradual reopening of its economy, which has had global repercussions as the country is able to leverage its financial muscle and take advantage of its position as a major economy to capitalize on a limited global food supply. In addition, consolidation in the US meat market has placed an upwards pricing pressure on the cost of beef, veal, and pork, leading to what has been described by the White House as a form of ‘pandemic profiteering’.
- Rising food and beverage prices have knock-on consequences for businesses and consumers, which has the potential to create further damage if such costs become unsustainable. The OECD has warned that prices in the G20 group of major global economies could increase at a more rapid rate than pre-pandemic levels for at least two years, placing pressure on producers, suppliers, and distributors. Many businesses are now beginning to increase the amount they are charging for certain products, which is likely to discourage price-conscious consumers and hamper sales growth for suppliers and retailers.
- Given the far-reaching global consequences of rising food and beverage prices, alongside continued uncertainty regarding the future of the industry due to the lasting economic impacts of the pandemic, a growing climate crisis, and rising global inequality, it is imperative that world governments work alongside food producers and energy suppliers to develop a timely solution to this problem. One proposed solution is agricultural technology, such as automation or smart robotics, which can be used to optimize efficiency, easing production shortages and thus cutting costs for businesses and consumers.

- Learn what is causing global food price rises
- Understand how prices have increased in key countries
- See how these problems might be relieved

Reasons to Buy
- Just how deep of a problem is the recent increase in food prices?
- What are some of the key side effects?
- What is causing the key problems of rising prices?
- Can anything be done to counter this problem?

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