Food manufacturing in the UK is under such strain due to staff shortages that some production may have to move out of the country, a retail group has said. Andrew Opie from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said shortages of HGV drivers and other supply chain staff meant that the sector was “just on the edge of coping” right now. He warned the Christmas period would be “incredibly challenging” in some areas. Factories cannot recruit enough staff, he said, adding: “We are struggling.”
Mr Opie, the BRC’s director of food and sustainability, was speaking at a special session of the UK Trade and Business Commission, an independent group of business representatives and MPs looking to make recommendations to the government. Asked about the impact of driver shortages, Mr Opie told the commission it was incredibly challenging for the industry, but said he was more concerned about shortages in manufacturing and food processing.
Challenges faced by B.C. farmers this summer aren’t unique and could have significant impacts on province’s food-supply system.
Brazil, the world’s largest beef exporter, has suspended beef exports to its No. 1 customer China after confirming two cases of “atypical” mad cow disease in two separate domestic meat plants, the agriculture ministry said on Saturday.
The suspension, which is part of an animal health pact agreed between China and Brazil and is designed to allow Beijing time to take stock of the problem, begins immediately, the ministry said in a statement. China will decide when to begin importing again, it added.
After severe weather associated with the remnants of Hurricane Ida sweeping through the Northeast, a tornado touched down in Mullica Hills, New Jersey, devastating the state’s largest dairy farm, Wellacrest Farms.
The Eachus family owns and operates Wellacrest Farms, home to 1,400 Holsteins cows. The family says they are still trying to process what quickly unfolded and the damage left behind.
“You see this out West. You never think it’s going to be in your backyard,” says owner Marianne Eachus. “The devastation is just … everything is gone.”
The National Weather Service has confirmed five tornadoes touched down in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania Wednesday evening during the fierce thunderstorms that were triggered by the leftovers of Hurricane Ida.
Wild weather, labor and equipment shortages, and a snarled global supply chain have hit everything from chips to cooking equipment—and food. Now, around the globe, prices for staple commodities from beef to wheat to sugar and vegetable oil are steadily rising, fueled by a mix of drought, fires, frost—and COVID-19 labor shortages.
Prices globally are up nearly 33% since the same period last year, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s monthly food price index, released on Thursday. From July, prices are up by over 3%. Overall, this year the FAO’s index puts food prices at levels not seen since 2011, the peak of rising prices spurred by weather shocks and high oil prices, that fueled a global food price crisis and famously resulted in widespread protests ahead of the Arab Spring.
This year the FAO pointed to a seemingly perfect storm of disruption, but weather seemed to be the most common denominator. It has disrupted crops from Brazil to Kazakhstan, offering a worrying picture of how multiyear droughts and freak events can exacerbate underlying vulnerabilities in the global food system.
Doug Ford announces Ontario COVID-19 vaccine passport for indoor activities to start Sept. 22 – Globe & Mail
Ontarians will have to show proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before entering indoor businesses such as restaurants, gyms, nightclubs, theatres and banquet and meeting halls.
Premier Doug Ford unveiled the plan on Wednesday, saying the new rules were needed to blunt the effects of the pandemic’s continuing fourth wave. Hours later, Ontario’s independent COVID-19 Science Advisory Table published new modelling that warned the more transmissible Delta variant could see cases skyrocket, especially among the unvaccinated, affecting all age groups and “with the potential to exceed ICU capacity” as school and other activities resume this fall.
COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi told the Times radio that British teenagers would still be allowed to get a COVID-19 vaccination, even if their parents objected, as long as they consented to the jab.
Zahawi explained that thanks to its long history of carrying out school-related vaccinations, that the NHS is well-equipped to make these types of decisions. So long as the clinicians on hand determine that the teen is mentally competent to make a decision related to vaccination, then they would be free to move ahead and administer one, Zahawi explained.