Recently, in conjunction with AgMRC at Iowa State, the University of Minnesota created three-minute supply chain videos regarding various sectors of the agricultural industry where shortages occurred, e.g. meats, eggs, dairy, etc. In addition, they have held panels involving producers and processors to include how COVID impacted their business and what innovative solutions they deployed as a result of the pandemic.
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Videos 1 -3: Fundamentals of supply chains- The global supply chain is a highly sophisticated grouping of production, distribution and transportation systems. This primer introduces how the web of supply and demand influences the movement of products and how COVID-19 impacted the nation’s production and distribution capacity.
Video 4: Meat supply chains- The meat supply chain was impacted by COVID-19. Demand spiked as people rushed grocery stores while processing capacity was suspended in many locations due to disease outbreaks. This imbalance led to hikes in prices and shortages throughout the country. Meat producers and processors explain how they weathered the pandemic and innovated through challenges.
Video 5: Egg supply chain- The egg supply chain was impacted by COVID-19 as restaurants and schools shut down; demand also spiked in retail locations. Production capacity as well as packaging was also in short supply. Egg producers and processors explain how they weathered the pandemic and innovated through challenges.
Video 6: Corn and Ethanol supply chains- COVID-19 immediately decreased demand for energy given a drastic slowdown in vehicle traffic. This led to shutdowns of ethanol facilities as well as backups in the corn industry where producers were unable to move their product. This video explains what the industry went through when COVID arrived.
Video 7 -- Dairy supply chains- The dairy supply chain was impacted by COVID-19. Demand spiked as people rushed grocery stores while demand almost went to zero with schools and restaurants. This imbalance led to hikes in prices for milk and shortages throughout the country. Dairy producers and processors explain how they weathered the pandemic and innovated through challenges.
Video 8 --Fresh Produce supply chains- The fresh produce supply chain was impacted by major demand reductions within school systems and restaurants. Although demand increased in retail locations and foodbanks, distribution networks were able to evolve quickly enough leading to mass waste of product.
Video 9 -- Shipping and the supply chain implications- Shipping containers experienced a major shortage early in the outbreak due to manufacturing closures and demand reduction in China. This led to producers struggling to move their product out of the U.S. for consumption; this video explains global demand for containers and how the shipping industry has responded.
Video 10 – Restaurants and the supply chain implications- No industry was impacted more by COVID-19 than restaurants. This industry experienced major demand reduction resulting in mass closings thereby impacting supply chains across the nation.
Video 11 -- Food Banks and the supply chain implications- Given the economic impact of COVID-19, e.g. mass layoffs. Food banks throughout the country saw a major spike in demand. As a result, increased demand coupled with reduced supply due to constraints in multiple agricultural sectors led to an imbalance which persists.
Video 12 --Local Markets and the supply chain implications- Small stores throughout the country suffered from supply chain shortages across the nation. Larger competitors with better contracts were able to serve customers at lower prices while local markets struggled to gain product and keep up with demand.
Video 13 --Halal and Kosher Markets and the supply chain implications- Like local markets, specialty stores were greatly impacted by COVID-19. Meat shortages coupled with transportation constraints led to inadequate supply in certain communities throughout the nation.
Video 14-- Human Capital- Every business’ most important asset is its people. Within agriculture, there is no exception so when farms and processing facilities experienced large spikes in active cases, facilities across the nation were forced to close. Health and welfare coupled with more stringent immigration rules led to a shortage of people working in critical industries.