Prof. Evan Fraser, the director of U of G’s Arrell Food Institute, says Canada is now in what he thinks is phase 2 of the disruption of Canada’s food supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In phase 1, he explained, Canadians were engaged in panic buying, trying to stock up on items ahead of the pandemic’s arrival. That led to some bare grocery store shelves as certain items were bought out and went out of stock.
We’re now in the next phase, he said, in which food producers, distributors and retailers are having to adjust to a shift in which Canadians are eating a lot more at home and buying a lot less from restaurants and fast food outlets.
Now, there is more of a need to keep grocery stores stocked and less of a need to bring food supplies to food outlets. The difficulty in making this transition quickly has caused such unfortunate side effects as milk producers and distributors needing to dump fresh milk that no longer had buyers.
“My suspicion is that phase 2 of the COVID-19 crisis will take a few more weeks in order to work itself through,” he said.
Fraser holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and studies food security, food prices and rural agricultural policy and how each is affected by climate change. He offers further thoughts in the video below and is available for interviews.
Prof. Evan Fraser