One of the most common food-related questions that people are searching for right now has nothing to do with recipes, but everything to do with the state of the planet. “Are there going to be food shortages?” is an important question many people are asking right now. Food is a finite resource, and the world is going through a difficult time – so are many of its people. The answer isn’t just a simple yes-or-no, but food shortages might very well be a thing in the near future. Here’s what to expect from future food shortages, and what can be done to adapt in times of crisis.
Are There Going to Be Food Shortages?
The World Right Now
The Russia-Ukraine conflict is one of the first reasons why people ask about food shortages. With many US food products being imported to the United States, sanctions mean that some supplies cannot get through.
While the conflict is likely to cause short-term interruptions in the supply chain (and some delays), a long-term food shortage is unlikely due to the conflict alone.
Food imports or purchases affected by the conflict might cause:
- Need for alternate suppliers.
- Rise in certain food costs.
- A temporary shortage of some types of food.
Why Ask About Food Shortages?
Conflict and fuel costs can cause supply chain issues and affect food supplies and food prices. It matters how cheap or easy food can be provided to consumers. Any sign that this could change, usually makes both consumers and suppliers ask the same. However, sanctions are not the only thing that can affect how food gets to the shelves.
What Causes Current Food Shortages?
There are other things at play that can trigger short bursts of temporary food shortages – or short supply for some items from certain suppliers.
- Fuel prices
- Labor strikes
- Global Warming
- Crop Failure
These are just five things that can impact a supply chain, and cause a temporary shortage. It’s also why supply chains are always on the move and busy adapting to the environment around them.
Success and Changing Supply Chains
With any break or change in the food supply chain, a supplier’s biggest mission is to adapt to it and find alternates, or workarounds anywhere possible. Suppliers who can adapt are the ones who can provide consumers with access to goods when others can’t.
Is There Aid for Food Shortages?
The possibility of food shortages remains possible, but help is out there in times of conflict.
Large amounts of aid have been granted to parts of the world in danger of running short. Food shortages even in countries that already lack adequate food supply are unlikely to become an overnight reality.
The Future of Food Supply
The TL;DR (too long, didn’t read) answer to this article is that long-term food shortages are unlikely, but temporary ones are possible.
Temporary food supply problems can be fixed by suppliers who know how to navigate the issues. The danger of more permanent food shortages is always being assessed by companies in the know.
When you are unable to import from a specific source, the key is to find alternatives.
Additional Information: Food Supply Chain – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
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