In this file:

 

·         Homeland Security: Ag, food critical industry, workers should stay on job

The Department of Homeland Security [DHS] today designated food and agriculture one of 16 critical sectors in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, and said that workers in those industries should stay on the job…

 

·         Government guidance recognizes agriculture as critical industry

U.S. food and agriculture included among 16 critical industries.

 

·         UK: Farming and the food chain added to coronavirus critical workers list

… The move following lobbying from industry organisations like the NPA and NFU and others, which argued that farmers and the entire food chain are critical to the country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak…

 

·         The Fragile System Supplying Food to the World Is Under Strain

      ‘There could be a supply shock in terms of logistics:’ FAO

      Farm, retail groups warn of labor crunch, panic-buying strains

 

 

 

Homeland Security: Ag, food critical industry, workers should stay on job

 

Source: The Hagstrom Report

via The Fence Post - March 19, 2020

 

The Department of Homeland Security today designated food and agriculture one of 16 critical sectors in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, and said that workers in those industries should stay on the job.

 

In a memorandum, DHS said, “As the nation comes together to slow the spread of COVID-19, on March 16, the president issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America. This guidance states that: “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”

 

“The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) executes the secretary of Homeland Security’s responsibilities as assigned under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide strategic guidance, promote a national unity of effort, and coordinate the overall federal effort to ensure the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure,” the memo said.

 

“CISA uses trusted partnerships with both the public and private sectors to deliver infrastructure resilience assistance and guidance to a broad range of partners.

 

“In accordance with this mandate, and in collaboration with other federal agencies and the private sector, CISA developed an initial list of ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers’ to help state and local officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.

 

“The list can also inform critical infrastructure community decision-making to determine the sectors, sub-sectors, segments, or critical functions that should continue normal operations, appropriately modified to account for Centers for Disease Control workforce and customer protection guidance.

 

“The attached list identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing management functions, among others.

 

“The industries they support represent, but are not necessarily limited to, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works.”

 

DHS noted, however, that the list is advisory. “It is not, nor should it be considered to be, a federal directive or standard in and of itself.”

 

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives President and CEO Chuck Conner said, “I would like to applaud the Department of Homeland Security for designating the entire food and agriculture production chain as critical infrastructure as our country responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

“This action will help ensure that as we face this unprecedented crisis Americans will continue to be able to find nutritious food on store shelves. It provides much needed reassurance to our hardworking farmers as planting season gets underway. I’d also like to thank Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for his leadership and hard work on this issue.

 

“The Trump administration should especially be commended to recognize the importance of the entire supply chain — from input provides to farmers and ranchers to food processors to retailers. Leaving one link in this chain out of this designation would have made the task facing American agriculture all that much harder.”

 

A coalition of farm groups wrote President Donald Trump...

 

more

https://www.thefencepost.com/news/homeland-security-ag-food-critical-industry-workers-should-stay-on-job/

 

 

Government guidance recognizes agriculture as critical industry

U.S. food and agriculture included among 16 critical industries.

 

Source: National Pork Producers Council

via National Hog Farmer - Mar 19, 2020

 

This afternoon, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued guidance on critical industry workforce that should continue as the country addresses and responds to the coronavirus outbreak. The National Pork Producers Council applauded the announcement that U.S. food and agriculture was included among 16 critical industries.

 

Specifically, DHS recognized as essential a variety of pork production roles. Among these critical workers:

 

·         Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees — to include those employed in food processing (packers, meat processing, cheese plants, milk plants, produce, etc.) facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing byproducts for animal food; beverage production facilities; and the production of food packaging.

·         Farm workers to include those employed in animal food, feed and ingredient production, packaging, and distribution; manufacturing, packaging and distribution of veterinary drugs; truck delivery and transport; farm and fishery labor needed to produce our food supply domestically.

·         Animal agriculture workers including those employed in veterinary health; manufacturing and distribution of animal medical materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed and bedding, etc.; transportation of live animals, animal medical materials; transportation of deceased animals for disposal; raising of animals for food; animal production operations; slaughter and packing plants and associated regulatory and government workforce.

 

"We thank DHS for acknowledging the vital role that pork producers play in helping to feed consumers here at home and around the globe with a high-quality, affordable protein," says National Pork Producers Council President Howard "A.V." Roth, a pork producer from Wauzeka, Wis. "We recognize that states and local governments are working hard to ensure operational continuity. As part of that effort, we urge state and local governments to swiftly follow and implement this federal directive. We need to ensure there is a continuous and uninterrupted supply of pork to America's kitchen tables."

 

Source: National Pork Producers Council

 

source url

https://www.nationalhogfarmer.com/business/government-guidance-recognizes-agriculture-critical-industry

 

 

Farming and the food chain added to coronavirus critical workers list

 

By Alistair Driver, Pig World (UK) 

March 20, 2020

 

Food production, including farming, has been added to the critical list of workers who can send their children to school from next week.

 

The move following lobbying from industry organisations like the NPA and NFU and others, which argued that farmers and the entire food chain are critical to the country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

 

In the latest guidance, published today, the list of occupations defined as ‘critical’, meaning their children should be able to attend school, college or childcare provision, with ‘food and other necessary goods’ one of a number of new additions.

 

This category includes those involved in food production (including farmers), processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

 

The full list is:

 

more, including links

http://www.pig-world.co.uk/news/farming-and-the-food-chain-added-to-coronavirus-virus-critical-workers-list.html

 

 

The Fragile System Supplying Food to the World Is Under Strain

 

    ‘There could be a supply shock in terms of logistics:’ FAO

    Farm, retail groups warn of labor crunch, panic-buying strains

 

By Millie Munshi, Megan Durisin, and Corinne Gretler, Bloomberg 

March 20, 2020

 

Global warehouses are stuffed with frozen cuts of pork, wheels of cheese and bags of rice. But as the coronavirus snarls logistical operations, the question becomes: How does all that food actually get to people?

 

Despite the inventories, grocery stores are looking almost apocalyptic with aisles of empty shelves. Panic buying has made it nearly impossible for retailers and suppliers to keep up with the unprecedented spike in demand. In just one example of the constraints, there’s a finite number of trucks that can load up at warehouses to bring in the chicken or ice cream or toilet paper that people want to buy.

 

There are limits on how much time can be spent stocking shelves or filling rail cars. Then there’s this weird knock-on from the outbreak in China: Fewer goods were shipped out of Asia last month, and now there aren’t enough empty containers in countries like Canada to send peas out to the world.

 

“There’s a complicated web of interactions we don’t often think about that’s all part of the food-supply chain: truckers, rail cars, shipping, plant workers,” said Jayson Lusk, head of the department of agricultural economics at Purdue University. There are “big buckets of possible disruption,” and it’s possible the whole thing “is more fragile than we think it is,” he said.

 

That’s just the start of it. As the virus spreads and cases mount, there are seemingly countless ways the food system will be tested and strained in the coming weeks and months.

 

There’s the possibility of worker shortages as employees are forced to stay home because they’re ill or they’ve come into contact with someone who is. As schools close, plants may slow production because parents need to prioritize child care. Restrictions on migrant labor are increasing all over the world, stifling workers who are key to making sure tomatoes get picked and slaughterhouses run efficiently. Port closures and limits on trade could end up disrupting the flow of supplies and ingredients.

 

“We do not see a supply shock in the sense of the availability,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. “But there could be a supply shock in terms of logistics, not being able to move it from point A to point B. This is something new and very difficult to predict. It’s that uncertainty that right now is the biggest danger.”

 

Farmer, retail and trucker groups in countries including Brazil, the U.S. and France are ringing the alarm over major disruptions that can develop from quarantine and lock-down conditions, along with the possibility of a labor crunch. Government officials in Australia, Germany and Kazakhstan are worried about strains amid panic buying and logistical hurdles.

 

A drawn-out crisis could lead to “real shortages” starting with fruit and vegetables before impacting staples, German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner said.

 

For consumers, the fallout will vary depending on where in the world they are. In the U.S., it could mean your favorite brand of potato chips is out of stock, but basic staples like rice or bread are available. In countries dependent on food imports, the situation could be more dire.

 

In every part of the world, you’ll probably be paying more for food...

 

more, including chart  

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-19/the-fragile-system-supplying-food-to-the-world-is-under-strain