EFFECT OF COVID ON FOOD INDUSTRY

The ongoing pandemic has left no sector untouched by its wave of impacts. While several people are being affected by covid-19 and continuing, the pandemic grave impacts on every corner of the nation’s economy. Even the food and beverage industry in India is responding to the ongoing crisis by bracing itself for coronavirus impacts.

 

Covid-19 has placed stresses on food supply chains:

      Covid-19 has imposed shocks on all segments of the food industry simultaneously affecting food supply chains, farm production, food processing, transport, logistics, and final demand.

Processing has been disrupted by labor shortages and shutdowns:       

      Covid-19 has led to disruptions in food processing industries, which have been affected by rules on social distancing, by labor shortages due to sickness, and by lockdown measures.in confined places for packing food, fruits, and vegetable labor is needed but at the same time social distancing measures may reduce production and efficiency and there is a need to ensure adequate protection for employees. Many firms complained about labor absences and shutdown.

Modes of transport and logistics are affected:

    Along with supply chains, transport and logistics are also badly affected and stopped. Bulk shipments have not seen any major disruptions. However, air freight has been severely disrupted, due to COVID-19 restrictions such as limitations on crew changes, additional screening, mandatory quarantines, reduced demand.

Consumer demand has seen rapid and unprecedented shifts:

  Covid-19 has led to a drastic shift in consumer demand away from restaurants and “food away from home to food at home”.

  • With the people more meals at home, the demand for home baking has been increased.
  • Products formulated to boost immunity are in high demand
  • Consumers are less concerned about taking sustainability issues into account when purchasing food and are more focused on safety and cost.
  • Consumers are now shopping at grocery stores but are less brand loyal as they shop now more willing to buy from different brands if they preferred is not available.
  • Now consumer initial stock billing has decreased, their ability to pay is more limited due to unemployment on the rise and market uncertainty, which is having a greater impact on high-cost items and meat products that are more difficult to prepare.

Conclusion: Yes, Covid-19 has created a major impact on every sector of the economy but, the current crisis is an opportunity to reset a system that has relied on outdated processes. Creating smart and quick supply chains is the key to building a global trade and investment network capable of enduring future storms. There is an urgent need to reduce dependency on physical labor across transportation, logistics, and warehousing. This can be done through core digital technologies such as Internet-of-things, artificial intelligence, and drones, etc.

 


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