Visible disruptions of appropriate food distribution for end consumers during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted calls for an urgent, renewed look at how the U.S. agri-food system is impacted by and responds to pandemics, natural disasters, and human-made crises. Previous studies suggest the COVID-19 pandemic yielded uneven impacts across agri-food supply chain segments and regions. For a rigorously comparable assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on agri-food businesses, a survey was administered from February to April 2021 to five segments of the agri-food supply chain in three study regions (California, Florida, and the two-state region of Minnesota-Wisconsin). Results (N = 870) measuring the self-reported changes in quarterly business revenue in 2020 compared to businesses' typical experience pre-COVID-19 suggest significant differences across supply chain segments and regions. In the Minnesota-Wisconsin region, restaurants took the largest hit and the upstream supply chains were relatively unaffected. In California, however, the negative impacts were felt throughout the supply chain. Two factors likely contributed to regional differences: (1) regional disparities in pandemic evolution and governance and (2) structural differences in regional agri-food systems. Regionalized and localized planning and the development of best-practices will be necessary for the U.S. agri-food system to enhance preparedness for and resilience to future pandemics, natural disasters, and human-made crises. © 2023 Peterson et al.
Peterson, Hikaru Hanawa; DiGiacomo, Gigi; Court, Christa D.; Miller, Michelle; Oliveira, Gustavo; Stevens, Andrew W.; Zhang, Li; Baker, Lauri M.; Nowak, Joseph; Orlando, Eyrika; and Saha, Bijeta Bijen, "Impacts of COVID-19 on US agri-food supply chain businesses: Regional survey results" (2023). Geography. 935.
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