How COVID is Affecting U.S. Food Supply Chain

All those bare shelves? “They were dramatic, but not emblematic,” says Daniel Sumner, PhD, a distinguished professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of California, Davis. Early on, panicked consumers raced to stockpile canned goods, rice, dried beans, and other staples, creating eerie impressions of scarcity in stores. But the food supply chain has remained surprisingly strong, according to Sumner. “It’s much more resilient and solid now than I would have thought 2 months ago.”

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COVID-19’s Impact on Global Agricultural Supply Chains and the Challenges Ahead

Date: June 16, 2020

Co-hosted by: UC Davis Global Affairs, UC Davis World Food Center, in collaboration with ISAM-International School of Agri Management

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted agricultural supply chains within the United States and worldwide. A panel of experts from academia, industry and the non-profit sector will discuss how the pandemic has disrupted global supply chains in the near-term. Looking ahead, they will offer an assessment of COVID 19’s long-run impact on global agricultural trade and how we can prepare for similar crises in the future.  It is also part of the Campus Global Theme: Food for Thought: Feeding Ourselves, Feeding the Planet

Panelists included:

  • Flavio Alzueta, former vice president and chief marketing officer, GLOBALG.A.P and professor at ISAM-International School of Agri Management in Almería, Spain
  • Shakira Phiri,  investment promotion officer at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism in Malawi, and 2018-19 Mandela Washington Fellow at UC Davis
  • Gloria E. Polanco, General Manager of FRUTESA (Frutas Tropicales de Guatemala, S.A.) 
  • Daniel Sumner, Frank H. Buck, Jr. Distinguished Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, director of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center

Moderated by: 

  • Ermias Kebreab, director, of the UC Davis World Food Center, associate dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Global Engagement, and professor and Sesnon Endowed Chair in animal science, UC Davis

Food Availability is ‘Not the Thing to Worry About’ During Pandemic

AgeNet West / May 4, 2020

While there may be continued disruptions within the supply chain over the coming weeks and months, there will not be a shortage of food in the U.S. One thing that Sumner assures is that food availability will remain strong. “We’ve all got lots to worry about these days, enough food is not the thing to worry about,” Sumner noted.

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Farmworkers are now deemed essential. But are they protected?

PRI / April 13, 2020

An estimated 2.5 million farmworkers across the United States are now deemed essential workers — exempt from shelter-in-place restrictions to keep the country’s food supply flowing. Yet at a time when social distancing and careful sanitizing are necessary safeguards against exposure to the coronavirus, little has been done to protect farmworkers.

“If it’s your only income and you don’t really have access to unemployment, then you’ve got to keep working,” said Daniel Sumner, an economist at the University of California, Davis. “You’re willing to do things you wouldn’t do normally.”

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California Agriculture in 2050: Still Feeding People, Maybe Fewer Acres and Cows

Public Policy Institute of California / February 18, 2020

It is important to recognize that global markets and climates interact, and so what economists call “comparative advantage” remains crucial to economic success. Let’s say climate change makes table grapes more expensive to grow here or moves the season earlier. But if climate change affects Mexican growing conditions even more, climate change could cause grapes to become more profitable and therefore expand in California. The crucial issue looking forward is what will grow well in California compared to other places and compared to other crops.

Dan Sumner

State Board of Food and Agriculture To Hear Update On California’s Agricultural Future From AIC

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will hear a presentation from the UC Agricultural Issues Center on California’s Agricultural Future and have updates on CDFA’s CalCannabis and Farmer Equity programs at its upcoming meeting on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. The Board will also hear from the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance. The meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814.

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Galt High School FFA Issues Team won the California State Championship!

The Galt FFA Agricultural Issues team, which worked with us at AIC a few weeks ago, recently won the California State Championship!  They explored issues related to the Sustainable Ground Water Act.

Team members are Mia Arisman, Gabrielle Martin, Maico Ortiz-Hinojosa, Jose Santos Madison Sweat, and Nathan Villalobos.

They are preparing to represent California at the National FFA Convention in October in Indianapolis.

Congratulations to the team members, their teacher and coach Mr. Dane White and all of Galt High School.

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