Is the world really facing food shortages?

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 14, 2020 - Duration: 01:14s

Is the world really facing food shortages?

As supermarket shelves clear and shoppers rush to stockpile as lockdown regulations tighten, it appears as if major cities are being affected by food shortages.

But is it just an illusion?

Megan Revell reports.

Is the world really facing food shortages?

Panic buying cleared supermarket shelves of everyday staples, such as pasta and flour, as populations around the world went under lockdown.

But are there really shortages - or just the illusion of shortages?

Meat, diary and fresh food producers have been struggling to shift supplies from restaurants to grocery stores, creating a perception of shortages.

SOUNDBITE (English) BRITISH AGRICULTURE MINISTER GEORGE EUSTICE SAYING: "There's more than enough food to go around." That's Britain's agricultural minister George Eustice.

SOUNDBITE (English) BRITISH AGRICULTURE MINISTER GEORGE EUSTICE SAYING: โ€œThe challenge that all of our retailers have faced is keeping shelves stocked throughout the day in the face of increased purchasing behaviour." Lack of air freight and truckers are disrupting deliveries of fresh food.

But retailers and authorities say there are no underlying shortages, and supplies of most products will be replenished, as bakeries and pasta firms ramp up production across Europe and North America.

The logistics of getting food from field to plate, however, does point to long-term problems. Lack of labour is affecting planting and harvesting.

That could cause shortages and rising prices for staple crops, in a throwback to the food crises that shook developing nations a decade ago.

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