Global Coalition of Fresh Produce says 'urgent' measures needed to safeguard supply of fruits and vegetables
A new report from the Global Coalition of Fresh Produce says a number of challenges are putting the long-term viability of the fresh produce sector under threat.
Those include cost increases, inefficiencies and transportation delays, labour shortages, dwindling consumer purchasing power and obstacles to international trade.
Unless effective measures are implemented “urgently,” the coalition argues, current challenges facing the sector will have long-lasting impacts on economies and consumers, including “bankruptcies, legal disputes, food inflation, food shortages and more.”
The report, Global Value Chains for Fresh Produce: An Urgent Call for Policy Measures, calls on national and international policymakers to urgently implement measures to safeguard the supply of affordable fresh fruits and vegetables worldwide.
Measures advocated in the report include: ensuring undisrupted and priority access for fresh produce to all transportation networks; promoting the creation of “safe and good-paying” jobs in the sector; and minimizing inefficiencies and bottlenecks at seaports, to name just a few.
“Our sector has shown great resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and has guaranteed consumers’ access to healthy and nutritious products. But rising costs will ultimately be passed on to consumers in the form of reduced supplies and higher prices,” Ron Lemaire of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association and chairman of the coalition said in a statement.