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China’s grain inventory ample, sufficient for domestic consumption: NFSRA - Global Times

China’s grain inventory ample, sufficient for domestic consumption: NFSRA - Global Times | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it
Grain inventories held by businesses across China hit a nearly 15-year-high while corn stocks in Northeast China have tripled compared with the same period last year, the country’s National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration (NFSRA) said on Tuesday, offering a fresh assurance to maintain an adequate grain supply in 2021.
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MED-Amin network
(Mediterranean Agricultural Information Network) Fostering cooperation and experience sharing among the national information systems on agricultural (cereals) markets in the Mediterranean. The network of 13 countries is coordinated by CIHEAM, and more specifically by its Mediterranean Agronomic Institute (MAI) of Montpellier.
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Ocean Freight Rates Follow Rising Bulk Commodity Demand

Ocean Freight Rates Follow Rising Bulk Commodity Demand | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

A spike in ocean freight rates is creating some heartburn for dry bulk commodity buyers who may be uncovered over the next few months as strong global demand for grain and coal stresses vessel supply. Fortunately, lower freight futures prices in the second half of 2021 could hold if commodity demand eases, as expected.

“We believe most of our wheat buying customers have booked freight already for April or May deliveries,” said USW Vice President of Overseas Operations Mike Spier. “We hope this spike in freight prices is short term because it obviously increases the landed cost of wheat from the United States and all other suppliers.”

“The freight story is all about demand and supply for dry bulk vessels,” said a former U.S. grain trader. “There’s just too much dry bulk movement right now and not enough vessels to cover it.”

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FAO Food Price Index | World Food Situation | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

FAO Food Price Index | World Food Situation | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) averaged 116.0 points in February 2021, 2.8 points (2.4 percent) higher than in January, marking the ninth month of consecutive rise and reaching its highest level since July 2014. The February increase was led by strong gains in the sugar and vegetable oils sub-indices, while those of cereals, dairy and meat also rose but by a lesser extent.

 

The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 125.7 points in February, up 1.5 points (1.2 percent) from January and 26.3 points (26.5 percent) above its February 2020 level. Among major coarse grains, international sorghum prices increased the most, rising 17.4 percent in February, up 82.1 percent above their values in the corresponding month last year, driven by ongoing strong demand from China. International maize prices also rose, albeit by only 0.9 percent from the previous month. Maize export prices in February were up 45.5 percent from the previous year, underpinned by continued strong import demand amidst shrinking export supplies. Wheat export prices remained nearly stable in February, but up 19.8 percent from last year’s level. International rice prices also edged up some more, driven by demand for lower quality Indica and Japonica rice.

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EU wheat crops not seen suffering big hit from cold spell | Reuters

Severe cold across Europe in the past week is unlikely to have inflicted significant damage on wheat crops that had built up winter sturdiness and were often insulated by snow, analysts and traders said. Although frost impact cannot be fully determined until crops emerge from winter dormancy, the expected absence of major losses in the European Union could keep the
exporting region on track for a larger harvest this year, particularly after a rebound in sowing in top EU grower France.“In France, there shouldn’t be much impact and we’re sticking with a scenario of pretty decent harvest yields,” said Vincent Braak, crop analyst with Strategie Grains.

  • Bitter spell brought double-digit negative Celsius lows
  • Snow-covered German, Polish crops seen withstanding cold
  • French wheat in good shape; early spring barley more at risk
  • Excess moisture after rain, snow becoming risk in Britain
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India set for record wheat output: Expert

India set for record wheat output: Expert | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

“Production of the food grain is likely to touch 115 million tonnes compared with 107 million tonnes in the previous year, looking at the crop position in major growing states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana,” Singh said.

This is thanks to higher acreage, conducive weather and fewer crop pest attacks, the chief of Directorate of Wheat Research at Karnal, Gyanendra Pratap Singh, said.

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Feed markets look to global harvests for incentives: Feed market report | AHDB

Feed markets look to global harvests for incentives: Feed market report | AHDB | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

Feed markets have taken a breather over February, with grain prices falling from January highs. The majority of feed crops in the EU + UK have emerged from winter relatively unaffected by colder temperatures. Soft wheat production in the EU-27 is forecast 10.4Mt higher next season, at 129.6Mt according to Stratégie Grains, providing some price pressure as we move closer to harvest.

UK ex-farm prices declined over February. Spot UK feed wheat was quoted at £202.10/t, in the week ending 18 February. Spot UK feed barley was quoted at £160.10/t.

The February global supply and demand estimates (WASDE) from the USDA, detailed an increase of 2.7Mt to global maize ending stocks, forecast at 286.5Mt. This was due to lower usage in the EU, Japan and South Korea. Last season, global maize ending stocks ...

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China increases focus on food security | 2021-02-22 | World Grain

China increases focus on food security | 2021-02-22 | World Grain | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it
BEIJING, CHINA — China is putting greater emphasis on food security and encouraging all provinces to improve grain yields, according to a major policy document issued on Feb. 21, Reuters reported. The rural policy blueprint known as the “No. 1 document,” also calls for increased support for its domestic seed industry. China has increased its focus on food security since the pandemic hit major food exporting nations and raised concerns about food supply stability, Reuters said. “The uncertainty and instability of the external situation has . . .
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IGC lifts 2020-21 global grains forecast | 2021-02-26 | World Grain

IGC lifts 2020-21 global grains forecast | 2021-02-26 | World Grain | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it
LONDON, ENGLAND — Larger-than-previously estimated wheat crops in Australia, Kazakhstan and Russia led the International Grains Council on Feb. 25 to bump up its forecast for global grains (wheat and coarse grains) production in the 2020-21 marketing year to a record 2.216 billion tonnes, up from 2.21 billion forecast in the Council’s Jan. 14 grain market report. The IGC also raised its forecast for overall global grains consumption by 6 million tonnes, to 2.222 billion tonnes from 2.216 billion. Carryover was left unchanged in the . . .
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In search of economically significant food losses: Evidence from Tunisia and Egypt - ScienceDirect

In search of economically significant food losses: Evidence from Tunisia and Egypt - ScienceDirect | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

Large estimates of food losses among farms and intermediaries publicized recently by several international organizations invite the question: Why do economic decision makers live with such losses? The intuitive, economic response would be that the marginal benefits of loss reduction do not exceed the marginal costs. This paper analyzes the possibility that economically significant losses nevertheless might be occurring at the farm and wholesale levels in two cases that have drawn attention in the Near East and North Africa. In Tunisia, concerns exist that farm equipment, especially harvesting equipment, is a major source of wheat losses in a country for which the grain plays an important role in diets and the national import bill. Our analysis finds that smaller wheat farms do have relatively large physical losses, compared to large farms, attributable to the use of older and imperfectly adjusted harvesting equipment. Nevertheless, given the scale of most operations in Tunisia, there is little incentive for farmers to make the specific investments that would significantly reduce losses. In Egypt, local experts have focused on large post-harvest losses of ...

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EU Food System Strengths and Vulnerabilities during Covid‐19 - Matthews - 2020 - EuroChoices

EU Food System Strengths and Vulnerabilities during Covid‐19 - Matthews - 2020 - EuroChoices | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

The performance of the EU food system during the early stages of the Covid‐19 pandemic is examined in this article. The preliminary evidence from the early lockdown period in March to June 2020 supports the view that, apart from some experiences of empty supermarket shelves in the very first days of lockdown caused by hoarding by consumers, the EU food system has been remarkably resilient. EU farmers, processors and retailers have maintained food supplies to EU consumers and adjusted to the shift in demand caused by the lockdowns in the food service sector. Farm prices fell after lockdowns were introduced but, with some notable exceptions, such as flowers, the fall in prices has been limited. Consumer food prices, on the contrary, increased but this seems to have been a temporary phenomenon. The response to the pandemic has revealed the limitations in the EU’s crisis response mechanism particularly where market support may be needed. The argument of some EU leaders that local food systems should be supported as a way of increasing the resilience of the food system to future shocks does not have empirical support. Policies in the future should ...

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L’agriculture tunisienne face à la Covid-19 : impacts de la crise sanitaire et perspectives pour une agriculture résiliente | Cahiers Agricultures

L’économie tunisienne a subi de plein fouet les effets de la crise sanitaire Covid-19 et des mesures indispensables pour la juguler prises par les pouvoirs publics comme la fermeture des frontières et le confinement de la population. L’agriculture a dû faire face aux mêmes difficultés ; toutefois, la courte durée du confinement total et la décision des autorités d’exclure les activités agricoles de certaines restrictions ont réduit les effets de la crise sanitaire sur la disponibilité des produits alimentaires. Cependant, la baisse du pouvoir d’achat des franges les plus vulnérables de la population a réduit leur accès à certains produits de base. En définitive, ce sont les principales filières agricoles tunisiennes d’exportation (dattes, huile d’olive…) qui ont été les plus impactées du fait de la baisse de la demande internationale. Enfin, si la réponse des agriculteurs et des différents acteurs qui encadrent le secteur a permis une certaine résilience, il n’en demeure pas moins que cette conjoncture a servi de ...

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Food choice motives and the nutritional quality of diet during the COVID-19 lockdown in France - ScienceDirect

To limit the transmission of COVID-19, nationwide lockdown was imposed in France between March, 17th and May 10th, 2020. The lockdown period in France was related to a decrease in nutritional quality of diet on average, which could be partly explained by changes in food choice motives. The lockdown was indeed related to modification of food choice motives, notably with an increase of mood as a food choice motive for 48% of the participants, but also with an increase of health (26%), ethical concern (21%) and natural content (19%) suggesting a growing awareness of the importance of sustainable food choices in some participants.…

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Covid‐19 will Change the Agri‐food System – but how? - Poppe - 2020 - EuroChoices

Covid‐19 will Change the Agri‐food System – but how? - Poppe - 2020 - EuroChoices | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

The Covid‐19 pandemic has highlighted vulnerabilities in the agri‐food system and wider society. The elderly, in particular, have been overrepresented in intensive care units. The resulting economic crisis and accelerating geopolitical shifts will change the agri‐food system, but it is unclear how this will play out in detail. Two factors are important to consider: will societal priorities change and will the state become more interventionist? We examine these uncertainties via four scenarios from a Dutch perspective. ‘Business as usual’ is realistic if the crises are short and manageable. ‘Government Control’ is more state interventionist, after several decades of neo‐liberalism, with a greater focus on the economy and employment as the agri‐food system is confronted with a long recession. ‘Regional Communities’ is where there is a long period of echo‐pandemics, in which a flourishing community spirit, the attention to nature and a healthy living environment with healthy food are permanent and short supply chains and multifunctional agriculture gain ground. In ‘Green High‐Tech Transformation’, the most extreme scenario, the state and technical innovation take on a much larger role in society and our...

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Webinar on market outlook post COVID-19: “Different perspectives for the same objectives: Market transparency and food security” 11th March 2021, 2pm (GMT)

Webinar on market outlook post COVID-19: “Different perspectives for the same objectives: Market transparency and food security” 11th March 2021, 2pm (GMT) | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it
The International Grains Council, NASA Harvest and OECD have co-organised a webinar on the market outlook post COVID-19, under the working title: Different perspectives for the same objectives: Market transparency and food security.

In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, the respective organisations will provide forecasts from a market perspective, advice to policymakers and updates on the use of new technologies, including remote sensing which can provide better information to the public.

The global grains trade system has showcased strong resilience to the potential disruptive effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic impact and potential adaptation of the trade system to the new reality is bringing fresh uncertainties about supply trends, new consumption patterns and even the wider-ranging impact on the whole agricultural sector.

Using different approaches and tools aimed at enhancing market transparency and food security, the three organisations (IGC, NASA Harvest and OECD) will share their perspectives on agricultural markets, with a particular focus on grains, while examining the complementarity between the different tools used and areas where there is room for improvement.
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FAO Cereal Supply and Demand Brief | World Food Situation | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

FAO Cereal Supply and Demand Brief | World Food Situation | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

FAO’s latest forecast for world cereal production in 2020 has been lifted by 17 million tonnes from the previous report in February to 2 761 million tonnes, now pointing to a 1.9-percent increase year-on-year. The adjustment principally reflects a 7.5-million-tonne increase in the world wheat production estimate, driven by recently released official data from Australia, the European Union (EU), Kazakhstan, and the Russia Federation. The world coarse grains output estimate has also been raised, by 6.9 million tonnes, with most of the monthly increase concentrated in West Africa, where recent official data showed larger-than-previously-expected maize outputs, and in the EU, where the estimate for maize output in Romania was revised upwards on higher yields. An upward revision to global barley production, reflecting improved yields in Australia and the Russian Federation, further bolstered the estimate for global coarse grains production. The forecast for global rice production has also been raised by 2.6 million tonnes from last month, and is now 2.1 percent above the revised estimate for 2019. This month’s upward revision primarily mirrors more buoyant expectations for production in India, where plantings of the secondary Rabi crop were reported to have significantly exceeded year-earlier levels. Production has also been raised for the United Republic of Tanzania and the Islamic Republic of Iran, more than offsetting modest downward revisions for various other countries.

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Russia wheat exports surge ahead of export curbs

Russia wheat exports surge ahead of export curbs | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

Russia's wheat exports doubled on the week in the seven days to 11 February, spurred by the country's introduction of export restrictions from 15 February.

Russia exported 1.6 Mt of wheat over the week, taking total exports since the start of the marketing year in July to 32.1 Mt, around 31% higher than a year earlier, according to data from its veterinary and phytosanitary surveillance service.

Wheat shipments to Egypt and Turkey — the largest buyers of Russian wheat — stand at about 7.1 Mt and 5.8 Mt, respectively, up by 600,000 t and 300,000 t on the week.

Market participants expect wheat exports to slow after the Russian government launched from 15 February a €25/t duty on wheat shipments, which will be raised to €50/t from 1 March. But the full impact of export duties is likely to be seen in the next marketing year, when shipments out of the country could fall sharply following the introduction of a floating export tax from 2 June.

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USDA sees US corn, soybean output rising on year in 2021-22 | S&P Global Platts

USDA sees US corn, soybean output rising on year in 2021-22 | S&P Global Platts | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

The production of US corn and soybean is likely to rise on the year in the 2021/22 marketing year (September August), the US Department of Agriculture said in its Grains and Oilseeds Outlook Feb. 19.

  • US 2021-22 wheat output seen at 1.827 billion bu, largely unchanged on year (similar acreage and yield)
  • Sees US corn production in 2021-22 at 15.15 billion bu, up 6.8% on year
  • US 2021-22 soybean output seen at 4.525 billion bushels, up 9.4% on year
  • US corn exports in 2021-22 seen up slightly, soybean exports to fall
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Aussie farmers may win from Russian taxes | The Northern Daily Leader | Tamworth, NSW

Aussie farmers may win from Russian taxes | The Northern Daily Leader | Tamworth, NSW | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

Australian grain growers could cash in on Russia's beefed up wheat export taxes with a record local crop still on the cards.

ANZ's latest agricultural commodity report has found Russia's decision to impose a wheat export tax of $80 a tonne from March until June could benefit Australia.

Moscow has imposed the tax in a bid to reduce domestic wheat prices and increase availability for food and feed.

As a result, Russian wheat is more expensive than Australia varieties for the first time.

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February 2021 CropWatch Bulletin (Vol.21, No.1)

February 2021 CropWatch Bulletin (Vol.21, No.1) | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

February 2021 CropWatch Bulletin is based mainly on current remote sensing inputs in addition to detailed and spatially accurate reference data about crops and their management. Focusing on the months of October 2020 to January 2021, chapters cover global, national, and regional level agroclimatic conditions and the condition of crops that were growing during this time. For China, the bulletin presents crop conditions for each of seven key agro-ecological zones, an updated estimate of trade prospects (import/export) of major crops.The focus section reports on the production outlook of major cereal and oil crops countries in the Southern Hemisphere and some tropical and sub-tropical countries, recent disaster events and an update on El Niño or La Niña.

CIHEAM News's insight:

http://www.cropwatch.com.cn/htm/cn/files/2021128156492593.pdf

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Shipping costs set to rise in 2021 | 2021-02-12 | World Grain

Shipping costs set to rise in 2021 | 2021-02-12 | World Grain | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it
For those in the business of shipping and grain, 2020 was a rollercoaster ride. Second-quarter lockdowns prompted demand for some grain-based products to spike as consumers stockpiled and splurged on specific goods, including specialty flours. However, overall global economic demand for most commodities fell precipitously, and bulk carrier shipping spot and time charter rates slumped accordingly. In the second half of the year demand returned, prompting a summer upsurge in shipping costs. For capesize vessels, this largely tailed off in the fourth quarter, but strong . . .
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Shaping the future of European maize millers | 2021-03-01 | World Grain

Shaping the future of European maize millers | 2021-03-01 | World Grain | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it
Europe’s maize millers are at the center of an increasingly integrated supply chain, producing high-quality products for a food market that demands ever higher standards in terms of safety, sustainability and traceability. At the same time, it faces the challenge of securing the right quality of raw material in sufficient quantities. The industry is represented by the Brussels, Belgium-based trade association Euromaisiers, whose members comprise 90% of the sector in Europe. As well as providing a platform for dialogue with European authorities and all relevant . . .
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Food Supply Chains and Covid‐19: Impacts and Policy Lessons - Deconinck - 2020 - EuroChoices

Food Supply Chains and Covid‐19: Impacts and Policy Lessons - Deconinck - 2020 - EuroChoices | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

Covid‐19 placed unprecedented stresses on food supply chains. Farms faced bottlenecks for some inputs, notably seasonal labour. Processing was disrupted by labour shortages and shutdowns, especially in meat processing. Air freight, important for fruits and vegetables, was severely disrupted. Demand from restaurants and food service collapsed, while retail food demand surged. Yet supply chains in the developed world have been remarkably resilient to date. Store shelves were replenished as stockpiling behaviour subsided and as supply chain actors expanded operating hours, increased staff, simplified the product range and found alternative suppliers. This rapid recovery was facilitated by policy decisions to reduce border waiting times, to streamline certification procedures and to relax regulations on trade in food. Importantly, policymakers have so far mostly avoided a repeat of the mistakes of the 2007–2008 food price crisis, which was greatly exacerbated by export bans. Overall, the biggest risk to food security is not food availability, but consumers’ loss of income. Safety nets and food assistance are essential to avoid an increase in hunger, especially in developing countries.

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Changing Route: Common Action on Food Systems Transformation in the Mediterranean – New Medit

Changing Route: Common Action on Food Systems Transformation in the Mediterranean – New Medit | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

The Coronavirus pandemic has revealed the fragility of our food systems, affecting all dimensions of food security and nutrition across the world. It has highlighted how deeply our world is interconnected and the importance of better recognising and understanding the interconnections that are intrinsic to these systems and their key role in pursuit of the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda. There is now, more than ever, a stronger need for a “route change” towards a common action on food systems transformation. Dialogues among all stakeholders to redesign the future of tomorrow’s food systems are needed to trigger collective, multi-stakeholder actions on the ground, at local, regional and global level, towards more sustainable food systems, linking sustainable food production to more healthy and sustainable food consumption. In this context CIHEAM, FAO, and the Union for the Mediterranean Secretariat (UfMS) initiated in 2019, a joint collaborative effort for the establishment of a multi-stakeholder platform on Sustainable Food Systems in the Mediterranean to accelerate the shift towards the Agenda 2030 in the Mediterranean region, with the Mediterranean diet acting as a driver.

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Enhancing the ability of agriculture to cope with major crises or disasters: What the experience of COVID-19 teaches us - ScienceDirect

Highlights:

•The COVID-19 pandemic revealed that agriculture is vulnerable to external disturbances.
•Agriculture is not well prepared to deal with major crises or disasters.
•Resilience-promoting policies and crisis management plans need to be designed.
•Community marketing schemes can help farmers and consumers cope with major crises.
•Smart technology can help farmers overcome crises, but raises many social dilemmas.
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An Odd Crisis: Covid‐19 and UK Food Prices - Lin - 2020 - EuroChoices

An Odd Crisis: Covid‐19 and UK Food Prices - Lin - 2020 - EuroChoices | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

The Covid‐19 pandemic will have impacts that will vary across countries and commodity sectors, reflecting factors such as the importance of trade, differences in the functioning of supply chains and the market which producers and farmers supply. Some of these effects will be relatively short‐lived; others will be longer‐lasting. In this context, we set out the channels through which food prices will be affected by the Covid‐19 pandemic, emphasising the short‐ and longer‐term nature of the main effects. We focus on the UK but the insights extend to other (importing) countries. Drawing on a recent econometric model of UK retail food prices that accounts for both domestic and international factors, we show that the key drivers have potentially off‐setting effects, suggesting that the Covid‐19 shock to the food sector is likely to be different from previous shocks, particularly the commodity price crises of 2007–2008 and 2011. In many European countries, the Covid‐19 pandemic may manifest itself as something of an ‘odd crisis ...

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Food Security during the Pandemic and the Importance of the Bioeconomy in the New Era

Food Security during the Pandemic and the Importance of the Bioeconomy in the New Era | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it
One of the biggest challenges in managing the food sector during a pandemic crisis is sustaining a robust food security system and adopting the right strategies in correlating the consumers’ needs and requirements with those of food safety, the producers, the distribution chain, the economic environment, and waste management. The restrictions on people’s global movement, commodities, and services and the measures taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have disrupted food environments around the world and forced us to collectively redesign and optimize our systems using existing resources from a more sustainable perspective. This paper offers an overview of the implications of COVID-19 for the food supply chain and discusses several potential strategies for tackling short- and long-term adverse effects resulting from the pandemic.
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