How concerned should the American people be about problems with the food supply chain brought on by the coronavirus pandemic?

One Washington state lawmaker says we should be very concerned.

Mary Dye, a farmer from the Pomeroy area, said the disruptions to the food supply chain, whether it’s meat, dairy or produce has forced consumers and lawmakers to admit what an essential part of everyday life agriculture is.

“Everybody likes to eat, and its important that we keep the food supply robust and the distribution chains working, the supply chains working, so we can recover from this horrible pandemic sooner.”

Dye added she is very concerned that the supply disruptions we’re seeing now will ripple out and create food shortages in the next 12-18 months, primarily because the global economy will not recover has quickly as the U.S. economy.

“Agriculture has been ramping for the past couple of decades to meet the nine billion global population need in 2050, and because we’re ramped at that scale, we will not be able to scale back to only domestic supply chain.  We must export to the global economy to remain viable.”

And any long-term changes will be very difficult for Northwest Ag since so many commodities and products are exported overseas. And on top of that, Washington farmers feed so many poor and hungry areas of the globe, so she is very concerned how things will look into the future.

“If we have shortages, there will be places in the world that will not have enough and people will go hungry.  And those places will become very socially unstable, and I’m very concerned about food shortages for the global market.  The U.S., we’re strong we have more than we can consume, but if we break these supply chains farmers will not be able to sustain themselves and their families financially.  And that’s what I’m most concerned about, is the broader economic implication of this supply chain disruption.  I think it’s a bad indicator.  It’s a storm cloud on the horizon for our world food supply.”

Dye said she’s hopeful U.S. leadership hears this warning shot, and does something to help American farmer meet needs worldwide, during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

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