COVID-19 Drives Recognition of Importance of Food Production and Delivery Systems

Farmscape for April 1, 2020

The Executive Director of Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan says the evolving COVID-19 situation has fostered a greater realization of the importance of the food production and delivery systems.
In preparation for the possibility of quarantine, consumers have been stocking up on grocery store items creating shortages of some products and prompting stores to impose limits.
Clinton Monchuk, the Executive Director of Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan, observes it is a new norm right now and there is a recognition of the need for social distancing and avoiding contact unless absolutely necessary.

Clip-Clinton Monchuk-Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan:
What this has resulted in is to a larger degree people stocking up on some of those products that you will absolutely need.
One thing, it's drawn a lot more attention to the fact of what is important in our lives and obviously food is one of them.
What's been happening in the last few weeks is people have been buying, instead of their four to seven days worth of food at one time, they're buying two weeks worth of food at one time.
This is good for the social distancing aspect of what the governments are telling us to do however it's put a little bit of a strain on the food supply system.
Where some of those products will eventually disappear from store shelves, they will over time be replenished through our supply chains.
In terms of the supply chains themselves, and I had an opportunity to speak to with some of  the processing companies here in Saskatchewan just last week, they have their own protocols in place to make sure that they're doing their job in terms of social distancing to limit the possible spread of COVID-19 to their employees and making sure that the food system, in the event that one or two of those employees get sick, that they can still operate their food processing facilities to ensure Canadians do get their food.

Monchuk says there is a greater appreciation that the celebrities who drive social media are not the ones producing food but rather it's the farmers and ranchers and it's the food system that makes sure we have what we need to survive.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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