Coronavirus (Covid-19) is having huge impacts on the food system here in the UK and globally. It is bringing into sharp focus how and where our food is produced, processed and consumed. It has also highlighted a number of issues, including the:
- Vulnerability of just-in-time systems, that in some cases stretch far beyond UK borders, to unpredictable shocks. It reminds us of past catastrophic events, such as foot and mouth in 2001 and the 2007-08 food price spikes;
- Differentiated nature of impacts within agri-food (contrast retailer (multiples and independents) and food service experiences of the crisis, for example);
- Labour shortages in the horticultural sector;
- Number of vulnerable groups who are now more than ever before food insecure, given their dependency on food banks and charity and the significant socio-economic food inequalities in society;
- Role of supermarkets in food provisioning (we have a private food governance model) and their role and responsibilities in responding to the crisis;
- Role and importance of online retail, including, but not only, online supermarket retail;
- Agility and ability (or not) of producers, processors, retailers and other food providers to adapt their supply chains to deliver food direct to households;
- Need to re-localise food systems, rebuild regional processing infrastructure (abattoirs, wholesale markets) and shorten food chains to improve food system resilience;
- Range of public, private and civic initiatives (at individual, industry and community levels) that have, and are still emerging, to respond to the crisis.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, it is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the impacts, actions, activities and food policy lessons.
We hope that you will find this resource both interesting and useful, and welcome additional contributions to the resource list and our blog posts on this topic – please do get in touch.
We would also like to share with those who access this resource that our close colleagues at Pisa Agricultural Economics (PAGE) will also be publishing a series of blogs related to how the Covid-19 crisis could lead to more resilient food systems. The core research areas of PAGE of socio-economic research in agriculture, food, and rural development align closely with future developments in food systems post Covid-19. These blogs can be accessed on the PAGE website.
- Academic articles re. Covid-19 modelling, science, post-normality, uncertainty, etc.
- Consumer Behaviour / Consumption
- Dairy & Cheese
- Farming: general articles, supporting farmers, valuing farmers, etc
- Food Access & Security (UK)
- Food Access & Security (Global)
- Food System Commentaries
- Local Food Networks and Agroecology
- Food Waste
- Market Data
- Organisational resources and links (UK)
- Processing & Distribution
- Urban Food Systems
- Retail - Independent & Local, plus food service
- Retail - Supermarkets
- CCRI Webinar Footage
Uncertainty, the futilities of control and pragmatism
- Great article by Andy Sterling on uncertainty and futures (accessed: 11.04.2020).
- This blog https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/articles/relinquishing-the-quest-for-certainty-in-the-social-sciences-or-learning-from-the-coronavirus-crisis/, by Jane Wills, introduces a new edited book about pragmatism and argues we should ditch the quest for certainty (in social science and the COVID-19 crisis) (accessed 09.05.2020).
- Multiple uncertainties that are hard to predict and plural prespectives re. preparedness https://www.ids.ac.uk/opinions/a-natural-disaster-on-top-of-a-pandemic-preparedness-in-the-face-of-cascading-uncertainties/ (27.06.2020).
- Post-normal science is an important concept to understand the Covid-19 response (generally and in relation to food system planning). This article is excellent (accessed: 11.04.2020). It also links to the article below by Steve Hinchliffe in legitimising a more inclusive mix of expert and lay perspectives to manage the crisis. If you are on Twitter, give Silvio Funtowicz a follow.
- Science for a Proper Recovery: Post-Normal, not New Normal (great piece by Jerome R. Ravetz in Issues in Science and Technology, spelling out why Covid-19 is post-normal; nice link to resilience thinking too (system robustness)) https://issues.org/post-normal-science-for-pandemic-recovery/ (20.062020).
Modelling, social science and animal health links
- What Happens Next? COVID-19 Futures and playable simulations https://ncase.me/covid-19/ (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- This article by Steve Hinchliffe gives a useful overview of models, including their use in Covid-19, and the need for social science (accessed: 10.04.2020). We should not problematise the models per se, but combine models, which offer ‘a reality-based social heuristic’, with ‘on the ground’ field experiences.
- Good links to past work on foot and mouth, H1N1 Swine flu and Ebola. For other animal health links to Covid-19 to FMD, bTB and One Health follow Gareth Enticott on Twitter.
- This short article by Hinchliffe and Law on the social aspect of models/R0 is also useful (accessed: 20.04.2020).
- This interesting blog by Brigitte Nerlich discusses the R number re Covid-19 (link also to FMD) https://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/2020/05/15/what-r-we-talking-about-pandemics-and-numbers/ (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Zoonoses: beyond the human–animal–environment interface (recognises the role of social drivers and calls for cross-speciality, interdisciplinary, international collaborations (via @SJHinchliffe01)) https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31486-0/fulltext?dgcid=raven_jbs_etoc_email (06.07.2020).
- This paper by Riyanti Djalante et al https://collections.unu.edu/eserv/UNU:7614/n1-s2.0-S259006172030017X-main.pdf examines responses to COVID-19 at the global, regional and national levels, and how we can apply disaster resilience strategies (04.05.2020)
Human infectious disease and global population
- This paper, written before Covid-19, is useful in linking global food production and emerging human infectious diseases. It argues that the risk of pathogen spillover increases as food production expands and given projections will thus require proactive management (e.g. more effective biodiversity conservation) (accessed: 11.04.2020).
Past (and future?) studies of pandemics, including networked disease
- The STEPS Centre has a great list of resources on past research on epidemics and pandemics. I’ve cited two of them above, but the full list is here (accessed: 11.04.2020).
- This is another very useful article by the STEPS team, outlining five lessons from past pandemics, including the need to address the political economy and ecology of the food system https://steps-centre.org/blog/five-lessons-from-past-global-influenza-outbreaks-for-covid-19/ (accessed 04.04.2020)
- Intelligencer interview with Mike Davis https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/04/coronavirus-next-pandemic-mike-davis-avian-flu-covid.html (04.05.2020), reflecting on his famous avian flu book (Monster at the Door), the current pandemic and future ones (he's not very optimistic re the future!).
- This Foreign Affairs article argues we must learn from the COVID-19 failure before the next outbreak arrives https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2020-05-21/coronavirus-chronicle-pandemic-foretold?amp&__twitter_impression=true (accessed: 23.05.2020).
- LSE blog about what past pandemics can tell us about public trust in science. Key finding: formative-year epidemic exposure has a consistently negative and significant effect on trust in scientists (but interestingly not the importance of disease-related science research) https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/businessreview/2020/06/01/what-past-epidemics-tell-us-about-public-trust-in-science-and-scientists/ (06.06.2020).
- Bruno Latour interview in The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/06/bruno-latour-coronavirus-gaia-hypothesis-climate-crisis (Gaia and COVID as a problem from within (network theory)) (14.06.2020).
- COVID-19, Crystal Balls, and the Epidemic Imagination ('epidemic intelligences—how health authorities imagine crises, and which crystal balls they use to enact them' (past public health cases from Brazil and Argentina) http://www.americananthropologist.org/2020/07/02/covid-19-crystal-balls-and-the-epidemic-imagination/ (04.07.2020).
- Excellent Boston Review article examining the uneven temporalities of epidemics (thanks @SJHinchliffe01) http://bostonreview.net/science-nature/jeremy-greene-dora-vargha-how-epidemics-end (04.07.2020).
The irrelevance of the SDGs?
- This piece argues the SDGs are irrelevant in the Covid-19 pandemic, which although they weren't devised to deal with a pandemic, argues are failing too re. preparedness as countries retreat to national planning https://www.globalstudies.ugent.be/the-coronavirus-pandemic-and-the-irrelevance-of-the-sdgs/2/ (accessed 09.05.2020).
- See also this (more positive) article by David Nabarroand and Joe Colombano https://4sd.info/wp-content/uploads/200526-COMPLEXITY-AND-FRAGILITY-REALIZING-THE-SDGS-IN-THE-FACE-OF-COVID-19-.pdf (14.06.2020).
Contexualising Coronavirus Geographically
- Editorial by Matt Sparke and Dimitar Anguelov introducing a TiBG special virtual issue "aimed at providing online access to articles that can contribute to the work of coming to geographical terms with the COVID‐19 pandemic2" https://rgs-ibg.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/tran.12389 (accessed 09.05.2020).
- Geo-visualising the pandemic https://blog.geographydirections.com/2020/05/07/geo-visualising-the-pandemic-how-geography-is-helping-to-tell-complex-stories-with-data/ (16.05.2020).
- July 2020 Issue of Dialogues in Human Geography examines the geographies of the COVID-19 pandemic (40+ commentaries, & free to view - some already available). https://journals.sagepub.com/home/dhg (11.06.2020).
- Brigitte Nerlich has written some interesting blog posts about coronavirus. In particular, the blog about metaphors is useful (but see also the image and music ones): http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/2020/03/17/metaphors-in-the-time-of-coronavirus/; http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/2020/04/10/being-on-a-journey-while-staying-at-home-more-about-corona-metaphors/ (both accessed 10.04.2020).
The psychology of 'together apart'
- Free e-book looking at how we live 'together apart' for the foreseeable (psychology and behaviour change perspectives - crucially not just individual behavioural science, also collective, social structures, etc.) https://socialsciencespace.com/2020/05/addressing-the-psychology-of-together-apart-free-book-download/ (20.062020); see also this paper about collective psychology https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bjso.12393.
Academic expertise - across disciplines and beyond 'science'
- Article by Dominic Abrams, the British Academy’s vice-president for social sciences, in The Guardian (29.04.2020) https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/apr/29/to-solve-the-problems-of-this-pandemic-we-need-more-than-just-the-science
Rural-urban relations and the foundational economy
- Useful blog https://ruralsociologywageningen.nl/2020/04/20/rural-urban-relations-in-times-of-covid-19/ by Bettina Bock and Jessica Duncan discussing rural-urban relations in a time of COVID (part of Horizon 2020-funded ROBUST project).
- See also https://urbanrurallinkages.wordpress.com/ (20.06.2020) and https://urbanpolicyplatform.org/2020/05/12/un-habitat-plg-covid-19-response-activities/ (28.06.2020).
- Interesting article about the foundational economy, featuring Kevin Morgan (Cardiff) https://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/innovation/2020/07/03/the-post-pandemic-world-must-be-fairer-and-more-sustainable/(06.07.2020).
Digitalisation of rural areas
- Gianluca Brunori: How will COVID-19 affect the digitalization of rural areas? https://page.agr.unipi.it/2020/06/12/blog-series-prof-gianluca-brunorihow-will-covid-affect-the-digitalisation-of-rural-areas/ (20.06.2020).
The fruit and vegetable harvest, labour shortages and automation:
- One of the big impacts is a lack of labour to pick the fruit and vegetable harvest, due to a normal reliance on European seasonal pickers.
- Useful link on this theme include this article from BBC business (accessed: 10.04.2020); and this from Sky news (accessed: 11.04.2020)
- The Guardian reports on recruitment of hospitality staff to solve agricultural labour shortages in this article (accessed: 11.04.2020); of Romanian workers being flown in to to further reduce the shortage (20.04.2020); and a very low uptake of applications to the British veg. and fruit pickers scheme (04.05.2020) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/04/27/112-50000-uk-applicants-fruit-pickers-take-jobs-amid-farmers/
- Uncertainty in food supply, including labour shortages, could fast track automation in agriculture? https://www.agri-tech-e.co.uk/uncertainty-in-food-supply-drives-interest-in-fast-tracking-automation/ (09.05.2020).
- Lincolnshire students urged to help pick fruit and veg - BBC News https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-52605547 (accessed 16.05.2020).
- Useful Financial Times article (thanks to Gareth Enticott for sending it) about horticulture's dependence on Eastern European workers https://www.ft.com/content/860d8651-455b-4012-8f60-8b1ba7afca32 (20.06.2020).
Feed The Nation campaign
- Concordia is running a new Land Army-style ‘Feed The Nation’ campaign (20.04.2020)
- Concordia coordinated a similar campaign in 1943 to recruit volunteers to feed the nation (volunteers were famously described as ‘The Land Army’). The new scheme needs 80,000 workers. The challenge will be to find the right people (particularly in terms of skills, because picking fruit and vegetables is skilled and increasingly specialist work).
- Useful list of agencies that link workers with farms (20.04.2020).
Pick For Britain
- There's now a dedicated 'Pick For Britain' website https://pickforbritain.org.uk/ for potential workers to visit to find out more re what it is like to work on fruit and veg farms, etc. (accessed 16.05.2020).
Labour shortages (New Zealand dairy, Costa Rican coffee):
- Worker shortage crisis in New Zealand's dairy sector https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12335334 (30.05.2020).
- Costa Rican coffee may go unharvested as pandemic creates migrant worker shortage https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-costa-rica-coffee/costa-rican-coffee-may-go-unharvested-as-pandemic-creates-migrant-worker-shortage-idUSKBN2411W9 (04.07.2020).
- https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/rights-workers-eu-food-supplies-risk-200407070604903.html (20.04.2020)
- Valuing life differently https://www.socialeurope.eu/valuing-life-differently-migrants-and-the-coronavirus-crisis (accessed: 09.05.2020). Good piece on migrant workers and regimes of segregation on farms in the Netherlands and Germany.
- See also this piece about agricultural worker conditions in a settlement in the Andalusian province of Huelva, southern Spain https://qceablog.wordpress.com/2020/06/01/no-one-left-behind-the-rhetoric-and-reality-of-keeping-our-supermarkets-stocked/ (06.06.2020).
- This Civil Eats articles reports on the precaurious situation for undocumented migrants working in restaurant chains in the US https://civileats.com/2020/05/28/undocumented-restaurant-workers-have-held-the-industry-together-now-they-stand-to-lose-the-most/ (06.06.2020).
- Migrant workers in Canada https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-essential-workers-are-heroes-so-why-are-we-ignoring-migrant-farm/?utm_medium=Referrer:+Social+Network+/+Media&utm_campaign=Shared+Web+Article+Links (14.06.2020).
- Article about Asda's Kober Ltd meat processing plant in West Yorkshire - useful material on worker conditions (thanks for sharing @GarethEnticott) https://inews.co.uk/news/real-life/coronavirus-covid-19-asda-kober-cleckheaton-meat-factory-processing-plant-cases-safety-452466?ito=twitter_share_article-top (27.06.2020).
- Workers at 2 Sisters tell of fear and terror at coronavirus struck factory - Wales Online https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/coronavirus-chicken-factory-anglesey-wales-18469347(28.06.2020).
- COVID-19 in Iowa: Letter warns meatpacking workers of excess absences https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/2020/06/17/covid-19-iowa-letter-warns-meatpacking-workers-excess-absences/3202317001/(28.06.2020).
- Link between migrant worker exploitation and Covid-19 meat processing outbreaks ‘must be addressed’ https://unitetheunion.org/news-events/news/2020/june/link-between-migrant-worker-exploitation-and-covid-19-meat-processing-outbreaks-must-be-addressed/ (04.07.2020).
- Inside a UK factory hit by coronavirus outbreak where workers can't afford time off sick https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/inside-uk-meat-processing-plant-22292920 (04.07.2020).
- British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) report offers solutions to workforce challenges and is calling on the Home Office to include Butchers on the Shortage Occupation List https://britishmeatindustry.org/industry-news/new-bmpa-report-offers-solutions-to-workforce-challenges/ (04.07.2020).
- Claims about COVID-19 in meat plants and worker exploitation are ‘false and misleading’ – BMPA http://www.pig-world.co.uk/news/claims-about-covid-19-in-meat-plants-and-worker-exploitation-are-false-and-misleading-bmpa.html (04.07.2020).
Agri-food labour in the US (meat processing, harvested crops)
- The debate about farm labour and workers' health and safety over the need to supply meat to US consumers during Covid-19 was reported in various articles last weekend. Here's a couple of articles I found useful. One from Cival Eats rejecting Tyson Foods claims the food chain is breaking https://civileats.com/2020/04/30/as-tyson-claims-the-food-supply-is-breaking-its-workers-continue-to-suffer/ (04.05.2020) and this one in The Guardian ttps://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/30/trump-executive-order-meat-processing-workers-coronavirus about Trump's executive order to keep meat plants open, plus Financial Times report https://www.ft.com/content/2c7e1a34-2cd7-4b80-ae2d-a8549f565423 (both accessed 04.05.2020).
- Battling Coronavirus in an Iowa Meat Plant - The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/10/business/economy/coronavirus-tyson-plant-iowa.html (accessed: 16.05.2020). [See processing thread for other articles].
- Harvesting crops in California’s eastern Coachella Valley during Covid-19 (worker perspectives) https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/28/undocumented-farmworker-us-immigration-california (06.06.2020).
Immokalee, Florida is 'America’s tomato capital', and has one of the highest coronavirus infection rates. It has 25,000 agricultural labourers / farm workers (mostly Latino and Haitian immigrants) https://thecounter.org/immokalee-florida-farmworkers-covid-19-cases-coronavirus-testing-contact-tracing/ (13.06.2020).
- Analysis of meat and poultry processing facilities in different countries shows the influence of the working environment, plus a low-paid workforce, who may be under pressure to keep working https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/what-explains-the-high-rate-of-sars-cov-2-transmission-in-meat-and-poultry-facilities-2/
- New outbreak data from @CDPHE shows growth in COVID-19 cases throughout food processing in the US https://covid19.colorado.gov/data/outbreak-data (20.06.2020).
Humanitarian crisis in ag. commodity chains (Fairtrade Foundation):
- The crisis behind ag. commodities - economic and humanitarian impacts feared under new working conditions https://wickedleeks.riverford.co.uk/features/fairtrade-environment-ethics-health/crisis-behind-commodities (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Snacking and family meals increase in lockdown (60% of young people thought more shared family meal times were positive for health and wellbeing but inequality gaps re. access to nutritious food) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-53238366 (04.07.2020).
- UberEats lauches new meal sharing tool https://www.perthnow.com.au/lifestyle/food/ubereats-lauches-new-meal-sharing-tool-on-app-ng-b881561041z (04.07.2020).
- COVID-19: safeguarding food systems and promoting healthy diets (presents 10 priority actions) https://www.glopan.org/resources-documents/covid-19/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_campaign=COVIDBRIEF (04.07.2020).
- Is the UK on the brink of a revolution in how we buy food? (shorter chains, digitalisation and new buying habits) https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/articles/food_revolution (28.06.2020).
- Changes in dietary behaviours during the COVID-19 outbreak confinement in the Spanish COVIDiet Study. Data show adoption of healthier dietary habits/behaviours in the studied population, via a higher adherence to the MedDiet https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/6/1730/htm (28.06.2020).
- The effects of Covid-19 on the alcohol industry (Marion Nestle) https://www.foodpolitics.com/2020/06/the-effects-of-covid-19-on-the-alcohol-industry (20.06.2020).
- How Covid19 has changed our relationship with food https://www.1843magazine.com/food/panic-at-the-supermarket-how-covid19-rewrote-the-shopping-list (20.06.2020).
- This piece notes that food companies are using clever ways to sell us 'junk food' during the pandemic https://www.sustainweb.org/blogs/may20_junk_food_marketing_covid/ (30.05.2020).
- Financial Times article reports an increase in sales of ultra-processed foods https://www.ft.com/content/2a8b011a-60e0-4bd7-bdac-c22c6a210ea5 (30.05.2020).
- Consumer price inflation data for March-April 2020 show a slight drop in food prices overall but veg prices rose (via Food Foundation) https://foodfoundation.org.uk/covid_19/cpi-aprils-data/ (accessed 23.05.2020).
- Jonathan Safran Foer article in The New York Times linking Covid-19 to wider questions about animal agriculture and meat consumption http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/coronavirus/the-coronavirus-and-a-world-without-meat/ar-BB14pRur?ocid=ientp (accessed 23.05.2020).
- Boons, F.A. et al. (2020). Covid-19, changing social practices and the transition to sustainable consumption and production. Version 1.0; (May 2020). Manchester: Sustainable Consumption Institute. http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=49196 (accessed 09.05.2020).
- Consumers in Florida are shopping online https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/opinion/sunday/farmers-florida-coronavirus.html (14.06.2020).
- Obesity and Covid-19: the role of the food industry, BMJ editorial (argues the pandemic shows why addressing obesity is now even more urgent - obesity is an independent risk factor for severe illness and death from Covid-19) https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m2237 (13.06.2020).
- Useful blog by Corinna Hawkes https://nutritionconnect.org/news-events/healthy-diets-human-resilience-age-covid-19 (29.04.2020) arguing for healthy diets to build human resilience in the new Covid-19 reality. the 'new normal' is one that rejects unhealthy food environments.
- COVID-19 and Obesity/NCDs - World Obesity Federation resources page https://www.worldobesity.org/resources/resource-library/covid-19-obesity-resources (23.05.2020).
- Dietary impacts (US perspective) https://time.com/5827315/coronavirus-diet/ (accessed 04.05.2020)
- There was quite a lot of articles about panic buying in supermarkets (early phase of the pandemic). Most were relating it to individual consumer actions/behaviours. This article is one of the more interesting, recognising it not to be a consumer problem but a food system problem.
- Stephen Reicher’s reponse to this article, linking it to psychologisation, is also useful:
Dairy farming crisis and milk waste:
- Covid-19 has severely impacted the food service and hospitality supply chains and this has had a knock-on impact on the demand for milk, with dairy farms forced to dispose of unwanted milk on their farms. Various articles on this theme, including:
- https://twitter.com/BBCBreakfast/status/1248129263724724225 (10.04.2020)
- https://www.fginsight.com/news/dairy-industry-sees-thousands-of-litres-of-milk-dumped-due-to-covid-19s-impact-on-supply-chains--107550 (09.04.2020)
- Reduction in milk outputs from farms - https://www.fginsight.com/news/muller-farmers-told-to-cut-production-by-3-per-cent-immediately-107555 (09.04.2020)
- https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dairy-industry-to-join-together-to-manage-milk-supply (20.04.2020)
- Useful AHDB podcast on how Covid-19 is impacting UK dairy markets https://audioboom.com/posts/7569431-covid-19-special-the-impact-of-coronavirus-on-the-dairy-industry (04.05.2020); shows the differential impact between retail and food service sales.
- This AHBD link looks at impacts to key dairy regions (globally) https://ahdb.org.uk/news/how-are-the-key-dairy-regions-coping-with-coronavirus (16.05.2020).
- Useful blog by CCRI PhD student, Théo Lenormand, about the milk crisis and COVID-19, including data/analysis from his MSc research in South Pembrokeshire https://rgrg.co.uk/covid-19-crisis-short-part-3-short-of-milk-short-of-cash (11.06.2020).
Vending machines, direct selling and networked dairy farm models
- For some time small dairy producers have been experimenting with vending machines, including this example and this (14.03.2020)
- Direct selling/short chains: selling milk from the farm http://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/milk-fresh-from-the-farm/ (23.05.2020).
- For a more global / international dairy perspective, see McKinsey and Company (20.04.2020).
- Interesting article in The Conversation about how small, networked dairy farms in New Jersey are a model for a more resilient food system https://theconversation.com/new-jerseys-small-networked-dairy-farms-are-a-model-for-a-more-resilient-food-system-137881 (06.06.2020).
Hardship fund for dairy farmers
- The launch of the fund, which allows dairy farmers to supply for up to £10,000 in cash payments, was reported by the BBC,6th May 2020 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52567858# (accessed 09.05.2020).
Artisan cheese producers:
- Similar to milk, due to impacts on food service/restaurants, many artisan cheese producers are suddenly without a buyer for their product. (accessed: 11.04.2020)
- Mary Quicke has written an open letter to food lovers in Britain about the impact on her family cheese making business (accessed: 14.3.2020)
- Coping with Covid-19 - Struggles and resilience of small-scale cheesemakers in Italy https://www.arc2020.eu/coping-with-covid-struggles-and-resilience-of-small-scale-cheesemakers-in-italy/(accessed: 29.04.2020)
Farmers as ‘hidden heroes’:
- One of the early narratives to emerge in the Covid-19 response was farmers as ‘hidden heroes’ who would ‘feed the nation’. This article in Farmers Weekly reports how “Defra minister George Eustice … described farmers as “hidden heroes”, as the government considers extra help to feed the nation during the coronavirus pandemic”(accessed: 11.04.2020).
- The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee writes to George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as part of its inquiry into COVID-19 and food supply (24.04.2020): https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/52/environment-food-and-rural-affairs-committee/news/146126/covid19-coronavirus-and-food-supply-mps-seek-assurances-from-secretary-of-state/
Valuing and supporting farmers:
- James Rebanks argues we need to value British farmers more. (accessed:11.04.2020)
- Some tips on how we can support farmers are provided by SUSTAIN (accessed: 20.04.2020)
- County farms - public land for public goods. Blog by Graham Willis, CPRE https://www.ateamfoundation.org/blog-1/2020/6/23/emergency-response-fund (27.06.2020)
- Fibres of the future? Covid-19 caused wool prices to plummet as low as 15p p/kg. This articles reports on a fledgling movement that connects sheep farmers with local weavers to value British wool. https://wickedleeks.riverford.co.uk/features/farming-local-sourcing-ethical-business/fibres-future (04.07.2020).
Eat steak not mince! That was the message this weekend to support British meat producers:
- Interview with Minette Batters (NFU) in The Telegraph covers this and the general message is to 'buy British' and support British farmers https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/03/eat-steak-not-mince-keep-beef-industry-afloat-nfu-president/ (accessed 04.05.2020)
- Plus this article in the Finanical Times https://www.ft.com/content/b94b85cf-1321-4ec8-aae5-22a128440eba (accessed 04.05.2020) on the European steak, chips and cheese glut (encouraging consumers to eat more of these products - in the UK, the glut is steak; chips in Belgium; cheese in France; not sure this is the 'sustainable diet' to aim for, but there you go)
- FarmingUK reported on Waitrose's big promotion to buy/eat more steak https://www.farminguk.com/news/waitrose-launches-biggest-ever-steak-promotional-push_55541.html and support British livestock farmers (accessed 04.05.2020)
- Pig farmer perspective (Pig World) http://www.pig-world.co.uk/news/npa-highlights-importance-of-keeping-supply-chain-moving-during-covid-19-epidemic.html (accessed 09.05.2020)
- UK beef exports, April 2020 - FarmingUK News (UK fresh and frozen beef exports suffered a 15 percent drop in April due to impacts of the Covid-19 crisis) https://www.farminguk.com/news/coronavirus-uk-beef-exports-suffer-april-slump_55923.html (28.06.2020).
Covid-19 and UK-EU trade talks (Brexit)
- Excellent Financial Times piece which shows how Covid-19 has highlighted food security issues and tensions for the UK and these are now playing out in UK-EU trade talks https://www.ft.com/content/1db1dfcc-09b4-4c6a-94a8-0442b037d557 (06.06.2020).
Agri-food support packages:
- Here's the list of exceptional measures introduced to help the agri-food sector through Covid-19 crisis https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_788, including private storage aid to assist the dairy sector (04.05.2020).
- Here's a related article https://www.fwi.co.uk/business/payments-schemes/coronavirus-eu-proposes-e80m-meat-and-dairy-aid-package (04.05.2020) and EU press release on transnational measures (including farmer and fisher support) https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_20_582
- This article examines the US relief package (farm aid) for farmers impacted by Covid-19 https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/30/congress-relief-package-farmers-155687; see also https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/07/us/politics/virus-trump-aid-farmers.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage (14.06.2020).
Farming Health Hub: COVID-19 Support and Advice
- The Farming Health Hub works with the public, private and voluntary sector to provide support, advcie and guidance to farming and rural communities http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/research/microsites/centreforruralpolicyresearch/pdfs/Farming_Health_Hub_COVID_-_19_Support_and_Advice.pdf. The list of organisations are mostly from Cornwall, but include national links too. Great initiative/resource. (accessed 09.05.2020).
Covid-19 is a demand rather than a supply shock?
- Short-term Agricultural Outlook report. Suggests Covid-19 is a demand rather than a supply shock, with European ag. sectors resilient to the crisis and food service re-opening likely to make a big difference https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/short-term-outlook-good-production-prospects-many-agricultural-sectors-overall-sector-should-benefit-reopening-foodservice-2020-jul-06_en (06.07.2020).
Small-scale farmer incomes (global):
- Impact of Covid-19 on small-scale farmer incomes (examples from Bangladesh, Kenya, Ghana and Asia) and how supply chains can support them https://views-voices.oxfam.org.uk/2020/04/coronavirus-is-jeopardizing-the-incomes-of-small-scale-farmers/ (accessed: 06.05.2020)
- Excellent article about COVID-19 and Syrian livelihoods in agriculture (thanks @GarethEnticott for sending it). The virus may not have reached displaced communities in the Middle East, but its domino effects have https://www.routedmagazine.com/covid-19-syrian-communities (27.06.2020).
UK farmers with unwanted potatoes
- The closure of takeaways, restaurants and food service has left farmers with unwanted potatoes (including comment from AHDB) https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-potato-farmers-face-supply-crisis-after-fish-and-chip-shops-close-2020-5?r=US&IR=T (23.05.2020).
Digitalisation of agriculture
- COVID-19 crisis could ‘kick off digital revolution in agriculture’ (but some important more critical comments too re ownership of these new forms of agri-tech) https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/covid-19-crisis-could-kick-off-digital-revolution-in-agriculture/ (20.06.2020).
- Artificial Intelligence in the Agri-Food System: Rethinking Sustainable Business Models in the COVID-19 Scenario https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/12/4851?utm_source=releaseissue&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=releaseissue_sustainability&utm_term=titlelink42 (04.07.2020).
- Digitising the Solidarity Economy – Desira http://desira2020.eu/2020/04/30/article-digitising-the-solidarity-economy/ (04.07.2020).
- Sustainable Fish Cities - SUSTAIN: How can we help our fishing fleet through coronavirus? accessed 20.04.2020).
- You can source fresh fish directly through this innovative website (accessed: 20.04.2020).
- Much of the catch from British waters is sold to continental markets, while British consumers tend to eat fish from other waters. COVID-19 is impacting markets and reports suggest fishers are turning to food banks as their businesses collapse. E.g. Scottish fishermen turn to food banks
- Fish flourish under lockdown — but fishermen flounder – POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/so-long-and-thanks-say-all-the-fish-that-roam-free-because-of-the-coronavirus/ (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Excellent resource/maps of fishmongers selling fresh local fish in the UK http://fishonfriday.org.uk/sales-locations/ (14.06.2020).
- Small boats and female workers hardest hit by Covid-19 fisheries impact https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/08/small-boats-women-workers-hardest-hit-covid-19-fisheries-impact (14.06.2020).
- Direct selling fresh fish (Pesky Fish) https://www.peskyfish.co.uk/ ; see also Ready Fish Box https://www.readyfishbox.co.uk/about (20.06.2020).
- Good article about the significant impacts Covid-19 (and climate change) are having on fishers in the US. A new order which will boost offshore aquaculture and a relaxation of fishery regulations threatens wild fisheries https://civileats.com/2020/06/25/fishermen-hope-for-change-as-the-seafood-industry-faces-a-crisis/ (28.06.2020).
Global supply chains and market systems:
- This World Economic Forum perspective argues for the need to protect global supply chains that rely on the sea/fisheries https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/global-supply-chains-are-under-imminent-threat-from-the-covid-19-pandemic/
- Lancet Planetary Health: COVID-19 reveals vulnerability of small-scale fisheries to global market systems https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(20)30128-5/fulltext (27.06.2020).
- Labour vulnerability in the UK fishing industry https://neweconomics.org/2020/06/beneath-the-surface (04.07.2020).
- Will Covid-19 lead to long-term food shortages and price rises? (accessed 13.06.2020)
- Food shortages because of a lack of transport (20.04.2020)
- This article by Tim Lang, in the early stages of the crisis, called for food rationing in the UK (accessed: 11.04.2020).
- The Lang, Millstone and Marsden article in The Independent is also useful, calling for a national food plan to manage the crisis rather than over-reliance on market responses https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/food-coronavirus-wake-food-system-uk-government-a9480811.html (accessed 04.05.2020), plus here's a link to their letter sent to George Eustice and Duncan Selbie on 1st April 2020 https://foodresearch.org.uk/download/15003/.
- This letter by Caroline Lucas to the Secretary of State at DEFRA is also well worth a read (accessed: 11.04.2020).
- Excellent article on COVID-19 and food inequalities in Emerald Open Access https://emeraldopenresearch.com/articles/2-11 by Madeleine Power, Bob Doherty, Katie Pybus and Kate Pickett, with commentaries by Peter Jackson, Rachel Loopstra, Alex Murdock, Diane Holt and Andrew Williams (29.04.2020)
- The Food Foundation are reporting on household food security during the crisis. One week in, they commissioned a YouGov poll which indicated that 1.5m people were worrying about hunger (accessed 11.04.2020) and also here (20.04.2020) and here from the Food Foundation (11.04.2020).
- This article, in the Financial Times, reports data from their second YouGov poll, which indicates that 3 million households in the UK are now food insecure (20.04.2020).
- Here's the third Food Foundation poll https://foodfoundation.org.uk/vulnerable_groups/new-poll-data-more-than-five-million-people-in-households-with-children-have-experienced-food-insecurity-since-lockdown-began/ and shows that more than five million people in households with children are experiencing food insecurity (04.05.2020); findings also reported in this Guardian article https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/03/exclusive-fifth-of-uk-homes-children-hungry-lockdown (04.05.2020).
- Here's the fourth YouGov poll from the Food Foundation https://foodfoundation.org.uk/vulnerable_groups/new-food-foundation-data-food-insecurity-and-debt-are-the-new-reality-under-lockdown/ (accessed 23.05.2020). Nearly five million adults in the UK (4.9 million1) (9%) are still experiencing food insecurity; 1.7 million1 (12%) children live in these households; four million adults borrowing money; ethnic minorities most at risk of food poverty.
- See also this article reporting data from April 2020 (first month of lockdown) that showed record numbers used food banks due to inadequate social security safety net measures https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jun/03/record-numbers-used-uk-food-banks-in-first-month-of-lockdown (06.06.2020); and here's the link to the Independent Food Aid Network work, comparing Feb-April 2019 and Feb-April 2020 data https://uploads.strikinglycdn.com/files/c181ce8c-2309-43a0-8fbf-05193a0a2d4c/INDEPENDENT%20FOOD%20BANK%20EMERGENCY%20FOOD%20PARCEL%20DISTRIBUTION%20IN%20THE%20UK_FINAL.pdf.
- Unprecedented demands on food banks in the UK https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/01/uk-food-banks-face-record-demand-in-coronavirus-crisis and https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/coronavirus-lockdown-help-the-hungry-campaign-food-poverty-warning-experts-a9490536.html (04.05.2020).
- The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee also launched an online survey (9 April 2020), inviting the public to share their experiences of accessing food during the outbreak. For full details see https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/52/environment-food-and-rural-affairs-committee/news/145887/mps-launch-online-survey-into-coronavirus-and-access-to-food/ (24.04.2020).
- Here's the response to the EFRA survey https://twitter.com/CommonsEFRA/status/1260875577084588033 (16.05.2020). Some interesting responses e.g. support that retail chains (supermarkets) adapted quite well considering pressure on the system.
- This article in The Independent https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/help-the-hungry-national-food-service-coronavirus-covid-19-a9483171.html?fbclid=IwAR2VYrLOrQxf7ptz7NKLmz-FWKQvitDTth4AuncfEQXu5Oh4uulZvWxPNMo reports on a campaign to establish a National Food Service (accessed: 29.04.2020; thanks to Peter Jackson for sharing).
- Tim Lang's (2020) Feeding Britain https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/308/308380/feeding-britain/9780241442227.html is a useful and timely reference point too as a we try to make sense of the pandemic.
- Link to food charities grant fund https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-apply-for-the-food-charities-grant-fund (16.05.2020).
- Coping with a tsunami of need and the Government’s £16m aimed at food charities https://www.foodaidnetwork.org.uk/blog/between-the-devil-and-the-deep-blue-sea (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Important article in The Guardian (15.05.2020) https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/15/food-banks-warning-government-poor-families-coronavirus making it clear that food banks' alone can't deal with the scale of the food insecurity problem in the UK - people need basic income not free food! (accessed: 16.05.2020) (see also the article by Valerie Tarasuk and Lynn McIntre, from Canada, in the global food access thread, which makes a similar point re. basic income support).
- Kath Dalmeny, Sustain, spelling out what we need to make sure vulnerable households get the food they need - a national food plan! https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/community/a-national-food-plan-is-the-only-way-to-ensure-the-uk-feeds-the-vulnerable/604795.article (16.05.2020).
- This article in The Grocer, by Ian Wright (CEO of FDF), urges government to appoint a 'minister for hunger' https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/people/industry-urges-government-to-appoint-minister-for-hunger/605025.article (accessed 23.05.2020).
- Uneven UK approach for Covid-19 doesn’t guarantee children’s right to food https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/05/28/uk-children-england-going-hungry-schools-shut (30.05.2020).
- New Food article by Chris Elliott arguing Covid-19 has exposed inequalities in the UK food system (food poverty) https://www.newfoodmagazine.com/article/111558/a-tale-of-two-food-systems/ (06.06.2020).
- Wicked Leeks article. Refugees and asylum seekers are the hidden vulnerable, struggling to access basic support/food during the crisis https://wickedleeks.riverford.co.uk/features/inequality-health/hidden-vulnerable (11.06.2020).
- This Examiner article describes the pressure a food bank in Huddersfield is experiencing, as well as the generosity and kindness of people to help others during the crisis. https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/huge-pressure-covid-19-put-18391011 (11.06.2020).
- Government data reveals up to 7.7m adults reduced or missed meals and 3.7 used food banks in the first months of UK lockdown https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jun/26/millions-went-hungry-during-first-months-of-uk-lockdown-figures-show-coronavirus (27.06.2020).
- Government attacked for ignoring expert advice on nutrition in food parcels, The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/21/government-attacked-for-ignoring-expert-advice-on-nutrition-in-food-parcels (28.06.2020).
- The Conquest of Bread (comments on the national food strategy and the need to take control of our food system in the UK) https://tribunemag.co.uk/2020/06/the-conquest-of-bread (28.06.2020).
- One in four adults struggling to afford food during coronavirus pandemic. Households struggling to pay bills and put food on table due to loss of earnings (data from Feeding Britain and Northumbria University’s Healthy Living Lab) https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/coronavirus-hunger-food-banks-poverty-a9575121.html (28.06.2020).
- From panic buying to food banks: how Britain fed itself in the first phase of coronavirus, The Guardian (good overview; devolvement of responsilbity to supermarkets and the food industry by government) https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/jun/21/from-panic-buying-to-food-banks-how-britain-fed-itself-in-the-first-phase-of-coronavirus (28.06.2020).
- Food access in the Liverpool City Region (Policy Brief by Grace Patterson and Jonathan Rushton) https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/media/livacuk/publicpolicyamppractice/covid-19/PB015.pdf (27.06.2020).
- Good article about food poverty by John Harris, The Guardian: 'There's another pandemic stalking Britain: hunger' https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/28/pandemic-britain-hunger-boris-johnson (04.07.2020).
- Food charity organisations call for the Scottish Government to end reliance on food banks (direct monetary relief not free food) https://www.foodaidnetwork.org.uk/blog/calling-on-the-scottish-government-to-end-reliance-on-food-banks (04.07.2020).
- Online donations to foodbanks showing signs of ‘compassion fatigue’ https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/news/online-donations-to-foodbanks-showing-signs-of-compassion-fatigue-research-finds.html (04.07.2020).
- Rethink food and farming essay by Henry Dimbleby. Sets out a vision of a future foodtopia (diversity) and pressures on supplies during lockdown https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000kfx7 (04.07.2020).
- Lords Committee: time to fix the failures in food https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/408/food-poverty-health-and-environment-committee/news/147210/time-to-fix-the-failures-in-food-says-lords-committee/ (06.07.2020).
- Record numbers of people in Britain can’t afford food – lifting lockdown won’t change that (New Statesman) https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2020/07/record-numbers-people-britain-can-t-afford-food-lifting-lockdown-won-t (06.07.2020).
- The second EFRA COVID-19 and food supply public evidence session took place on 15.05.2020 https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/52/environment-food-and-rural-affairs-committee/news/146356/covid19-and-food-supply-second-public-evidence-session-announced/. Session covered "how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the ability of vulnerable people to get sufficient healthy food, and the impact on charities such as food banks who help people facing food insecurity". Witnesses: Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive Officer, FareShare; Emma Revie, Chief Executive, Trussell Trust; Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK; and Fazilet Hadi, Policy Manager, Disability Rights UK. Here's the video link https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/1b065556-825b-420d-9d1d-580deda858a6 (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Chair raises 'pressing challenges' faced by those struggling to access food https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/52/environment-food-and-rural-affairs-committee/news/146487/Chair-comments-access-to-food-19-21 (accessed 23.05.2020).
Government announcement to support food charities:
- Government announcement of £16m to support food charities. Link and summary of support available here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/16-million-for-food-charities-to-provide-meals-for-those-in-need (accessed 09.05.2020)
- Here's Kath Dalmeny's response to the announcement, who argues it is simply not enough to address the scale of the problem https://www.sustainweb.org/news/may20_government_offers_crumbs_to_people_running_out_of_food/ (accessed 09.05.2020)
- Excellent blog by Megan Blake documenting some of the ways community groups are working and organising to counter food hunger and food insecurity in communities; stark problems also outlined and the need for central government support (accessed: 10.04.2020).
- Excellent guide from Nourish Scotland for community responses to Covid-19 (accessed 10.04.2020).
- Lincoln Food Partnership. Like many other community food organisations, they are doing great work to organise food responses, including food donations (accessed: 11.04.2020); see also the Sustainable Food Places list of local food partnerships.
School meals and school catering:
- Call for free school meals during half-term and summer in England (The Guardian, 15.05.2020) https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/may/15/call-for-free-school-meals-during-half-term-summer-england (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Sustain has produced a guide for local authorities and school caterers to deliver to the elderly, including four ways to adapt school kitchens and a case study for each model https://www.sustainweb.org/publications/school_caterers_put_their_meals_on_wheels/ (accessed: 23.05.2020).
Legal action to secure school meals over the summer months
- Sustain and Good Law project have threatended the Government with legal proceedings to secure school meals after they announced they would not extend the school meal voucher scheme over the summer months https://www.sustainweb.org/news/jun20_holidayfood/ (06.06.2020).
Free summer school meals and Marcus Rashford-led campaign
- 'Protect the vulnerable': Marcus Rashford's letter to MPs https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/jun/15/protect-the-vulnerable-marcus-rashfords-emotional-letter-to-mps?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
- The government initially rejected the campaign to extend school meals. See: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/jun/15/boris-johnson-rejects-marcus-rashfords-plea-for-free-school-meals-over-summer
- Government u-turn on summer school meals after campaign led by Marcus Rashford (16 June 2020) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53065806
- Lots of other articles on the government u-turn re. summer free school meals. See e.g.: https://www.sustainablefoodplaces.org/news/jun20_government_announces_summer_holiday_free_school_meal_provision_in_england/#; https://www.sustainweb.org/news/jun20_fsmwin/
- See also EFRA letter on the free school meal voucher scheme https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/52/environment-food-and-rural-affairs-committee/news/146984/is-the-free-school-meal-voucher-scheme-working-for-everyone/ (accessed: 20.06.2020).
- Marcus Rashford: a brief history of free school meals in the UK https://theconversation.com/marcus-rashford-a-brief-history-of-free-school-meals-in-the-uk-140896 (28.06.2020)
- Headteachers out of pocket and children hungry in England's school meals chaos, The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/jun/30/headteachers-out-of-pocket-and-children-hungry-in-englands-school-meals-chaos (04.07.2020).
Other devolved nations re. extending school meals through the summer:
- Wales was the first to agree to support summer school meals (Wednesday, April 22) https://gov.wales/wales-has-become-first-country-uk-guarantee-ongoing-funding-children-continue-receive-free-school;
- Scotland (16 June 2020) https://www.gov.scot/news/free-school-meals-extended/ ;
- Northern Ireland Executive extends the free school meals scheme (agreed 19 June 2020) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-53111146 (accessed: 20.06.2020).
Reliance on EU food chains, Brexit and food security:
- Useful blog by Tony Heron, which argues that Covid-19 is a reminder of our reliance on EU food chains for UK food security, and why we should question the logic of a post-Brexit 'cheap food' trade policy https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2020/05/21/covid-19-is-a-stark-reminder-of-how-deeply-the-uks-food-security-is-dependent-on-the-eu/ (23.05.2020).
- This article, in The National, picks up a recent Nature Food paper by Philip Garnett, Bob Doherty and Tony Heron that argues Covid19 has exposed UK over-reliance on The Netherlands and Spain for fresh fruit and veg https://www.thenational.scot/news/18496845.uk-dangerously-dependent-two-eu-countries-fresh-veg/ [it was reported in other papers too, but this article has no paywall; here's the link to the Nature Food paper https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-020-0097-7] (06.06.2020).
- Excellent Financial Times piece which shows how Covid-19 has highlighted food security issues and tensions for the UK and these are now playing out in UK-EU trade talks https://www.ft.com/content/1db1dfcc-09b4-4c6a-94a8-0442b037d557 (06.06.2020).
- A resilient UK food system https://post.parliament.uk/research-briefings/post-pn-0626/ (20.06.2020).
- What the Covid-19 crisis taught us about food chain resilience and Brexit (perspective from Arla Foods UK) https://www.politicshome.com/members/article/what-the-covid19-crisis-taught-us-about-food-chain-resilience-and-brexit (06.07.2020).
- International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has put together a great resources page on COVID-19 impacts in majority world countries https://www.ifpri.org/covid-19 (accessed 09.05.2020).
- The UN 'Goal 2: Zero Hunger' page has useful info and links https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/hunger/ (30.05.2020).
- The FAO has a useful page on COVID-19 and global food supplies http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/1268059/icode/ (30.05.2020); see also their excellent policy support and governance resources page to improve emergency food assistance to vulnerable groups http://www.fao.org/policy-support/coronavirus-pandemic/en/?utm_content=bufferf4974&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer (06.06.2020).
- World Food Programme analysis of the potential impact of COVID-19 on the world’s poorest people https://docs.wfp.org/api/documents/WFP-0000114205/download/?_ga=2.241337546.952775517.1586900153-341597442.1584735263(30.05.2020). Key message: the economic and food insecurity impacts of the disease could be more devastating that the disease itself.
Other resources and articles (media, academic):
- Global food shortage prediction - The Guardian (accessed: 20.04.2020).
- Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC) 2020. You can access the executive summary and full report here https://reliefweb.int/report/world/global-report-food-crises-2020 (accessed: 04.05.2020). The forecasts were made pre Covid-19 but the summary and full report include commentary re. the pandemic (impacts and action needed).
- The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition are preparing situation reports for low and middle-income countries that they work in re. the impact of Covid-19 on food systems https://www.gainhealth.org/resources/reports-and-publications/impact-covid-19-food-systems-situation-report (23.05.2020).
- Food insecurity warning from WFP (East Africa) https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/wfp-warns-food-insecurity-double-east-africa-200428150049637.html (accessed: 04.05.2020).
- Food insecurity in India (impacts on the 'working poor') https://www.ft.com/content/dec12470-894b-11ea-9dcb-fe6871f4145a (04.05.2020).
- Video diaries from Nairobi https://medium.com/enabling-sustainability/video-diaries-from-nairobi-navigating-food-insecurity-in-times-of-the-covid-19-pandemic-296b300b0867 (09.05.2020).
- Tripoli https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/01/care-about-masks-anger-poverty-grip-lebanese-city-tripoli-coronavirus (09.05.2020).
- Forbes - COVID-19 and food security in the Caribbean (31/03/2020).
- Excellent blog https://www.ifpri.org/blog/covid-19-nutrition-crisis-what-expect-and-how-protect (accessed 24.04.2020) on the COVID-19 pandemic and the implications for global malnutrition, including practical ways vulnerable groups can be protected.
- This Economist piece argues the global food chain is responding to the Covid-19 challenge [I disagree, given food insecurity crisis, but articles like this balance the narrative, even if I don't agree!] https://www.economist.com/leaders/2020/05/09/the-global-food-supply-chain-is-passing-a-severe-test (16.05.2020).
- This piece also argues that global food chains are resilient https://www.luke.fi/en/blog/the-global-food-supply-chains-are-resilient/ (20.06.2020).
- This Lancet editorial https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2214-109X%2820%2930228-X warns 'food insecurity will be the sting in the tail of COVID-19', and women, and particularly children, could bear the brunt of the effects of food insecurity/health system disruptions (23.05.2020).
- World Food Programme warning of a food crisis in Latin America because of COVID-19 http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2020/05/30/2020053000400.html (30.05.2020).
- Enabling Sustainability has resources, reports and video diaries on responses to Covid-19 https://medium.com/enabling-sustainability (30.05.2020).
- Asia Pacific perspective: nice blog, arguing for support for small family farms and farmers' associations to address food insecurity https://nutritionconnect.org/resource-center/blog-30-wifi-weak-our-call-support-smallholder-family-farmers-strong (06.06.2020).
- Social safety nets and shorter supply chains proposed as essential mechanisms to protect smallholder farmers facing spiralling debt and bankruptcy https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/06/01/now-time-climate-pandemic-proof-food-systems/ (06.06.2020).
- Covid-19 and the right to food (Independent Food Aid Charity Network; #rights not charity) https://www.foodaidnetwork.org.uk/blog/covid-19-and-the-right-to-food (06.06.2020).
- UN warning of a global food crisis https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jun/09/world-faces-worst-food-crisis-50-years-un-coronavirus (14.06.2020).
- Food vending and farming in Kenya - how Covid-19 is changing socio-economic dynamics https://medium.com/enabling-sustainability/from-corner-office-to-food-vendor-how-covid-19-is-changing-socio-economic-dynamics-in-kenya-12d800f5db09 (14.06.2020).
- COVID-19 lockdown in Zimbabwe: ‘we are good at surviving, but things are really tough’ https://zimbabweland.wordpress.com/2020/06/15/life-under-covid-19-lockdown-in-zimbabwe-we-are-good-at-surviving-but-things-are-really-tough/ (20.06.2020).
- Informal markets exploring ways to survive tough times (Lilongwe, Malawi) https://medium.com/enabling-sustainability/informal-markets-exploring-ways-to-survive-tough-covid19-times-d3c8e3b69aa5 (04.07.2020).
- UN food agencies call for action to reduce COVID-19 impacts on world's hungriest population http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-06/10/c_139127202.htm (20.06.2020).
- Excellent article about COVID-19 and Syrian livelihoods in agriculture, including food security impacts [thanks @GarethEnticott]. The virus may not have reached displaced communities in the Middle East, but its domino effects have https://www.routedmagazine.com/covid-19-syrian-communities (27.06.2020).
- Latest issue of Lancet Planetary Health argues the COVID-19 pandemic is morphing into a global food security crisis (articles too on wet markets and small-scale fishers) https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/issue/vol4no6/PIIS2542-5196(20)X0007-6?ct=t(C2025_newsletter12_03152017_DO_NOT_DELET3_15_2017_)(27.06.2020).
- The Committee on World Food Security's High Level Panel of Experts call for radical transformation of the food system and extend the defintion of food security to include sustainability and agency https://www.devex.com/news/radical-transformation-covid-19-shows-urgency-for-food-systems-policy-shifts-97579(28.06.2020).
- Impact of COVID-19 on the Human Right to Food and Nutrition: Preliminary monitoring report, FIAN International [thanks to Colin Anderson for the link] https://www.fian.org/files/files/Preliminary_monitoring_report_-_Impact_of_COVID19_on_the_HRtFN.pdf(28.06.2020).
- Good piece by MaximoTorero, FAO on 'preparing food systems for a long-haul fight against COVID-19' (useful map of global food insecurity hotspots; argues nation states must avoid a reactionary self-sufficiency approach (need to facilitate global trade) https://maximotorero.com/2020/07/03/prepare-food-systems-for-a-long-haul-fight-against-covid-19/(04.07.2020).
- What is Food Insecurity? Interview with Paul Taylor, FoodShare, including Covid-19 impacts and Canada response. Key message: "Food insecurity is an income issue that requires income based interventions” https://www.foodnetwork.ca/food-network-insider/blog/what-is-food-insecurity/ (04.07.2020).
- To Be Hungry in the Middle of the Pandemic - The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/04/opinion/coronavirus-food-banks-hunger.html (06.07.2020).
- Food For London Now appeal: Crisis spreads from rich to poor nations, London Evening Standard https://www.standard.co.uk/news/foodforlondon/food-for-london-now-crisis-spread-poor-nations-a4487836.html (06.07.2020).
The need for basic income support not food charity:
- Great article from Valerie Tarasuk and Lynn McIntre https://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/april-2020/food-banks-cant-adequately-address-covid-19-food-insecurity/ (accessed 29.04.2020) on why we must not accept food banks as an adequate response to Covid-19 food insecurity - they argue for basic income support not food charity. Comments based on Canada's food response to date.
- Marion Nestle on why SNAP is important in the US, as a safety net for the poor https://www.foodpolitics.com/2020/05/23149/(accessed 16.05.2020); this article from The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/21/nyregion/coronavirus-ny-update.html emphasises the scale and persistance of the problem in the US (2 million city residents food insecure) (accessed: 23.05.2020); see also this Guardian article (pandemic effects could leave 54m Americans without food) https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/31/people-are-going-to-go-hungry-pandemic-effects-could-leave-54m-americans-without-food(06.06.2020).
- Good CNN article about food deserts in the US (compounded by Covid-19) https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/09/business/food-deserts-coronavirus-grocery-stores/index.html (14.06.2020).
Hacking food chains and food system innovations
- Interesting (and inspiring) article about a project in the Bronx to 'hack' the food chain to get cheaper supplies to restaurants who then prepare and supply emergency food aid (culturally specific) to people in need in the community https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/coronavirus-response-hacking-emergency-food-supply-chains-200601065958248.html (06.06.2020); plus this article about clever ways New York City organised the food response (might need to subscribe to access the full article) https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-city-serves-up-food-to-fill-in-the-gaps-amid-the-pandemic-11591106402 (14.06.2020).
- Useful blog by Corinna Hawkes reviewing food system innovations that have helped to get food to people (digital innovations (e.g. mobile apps), distribution, point-of-sale, vouchers) https://www.ifpri.org/blog/covid-19-and-promise-food-system-innovation (20.06.2020).
- Video from the Johns Hopkins Center reports on ways food policy councils in the US are shifting their strategies to address increased food insecurity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Case studies from Montgomery County Food Council (Maryland), the Dubuque County Food Policy Council (Iowa), and the Detroit Food Policy Council (Michigan) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HH02GobEhg&feature=youtu.be (13.06.2020).
- This Guardian article argues factory farming, global agribusiness and environmental destruction are to blame for coronavirus (not wet markets)(accessed: 10.04.2020). Links to Wallace’s (2016) argument about relational geographies not absolute geographies when tracing the cause of disease outbreaks; see also https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/17/pandemics-destruction-nature-un-who-legislation-trade-green-recovery (20.06.2020).
- Here's a podcast/interview with Rob Wallace, explaining links between infectious disease and global agriculture https://kutpodcasts.org/the-secret-ingredient/covid-19-series-rob-wallace (accessed: 06.05.2020).
- Industrial animal farming has caused most new infectious diseases and risks more pandemics, The Independent https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/coronavirus-meat-animal-farming-pandemic-disease-wet-markets-a9505626.html (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- This article, by Laura Spinney, is also helpful in making the case for global responsibility in terms of the origins of the virus (accessed: 11.04.2020); have a read too of the excellent blog on Covid-19, racism and the power of names, by geographer Tim Cresswell (accessed: 11.04.2020).
- Baby pangolins on my plate: possible lessons to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic https://ethnobiomed.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s13002-020-00366-4. Open access paper in Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine (09.05.2020).
- Useful article by Patrick Holden on what the pandemic means in terms of future food security (11.04.2020). Critiques the current centralised system.
- Caroline Lucas - Coronavirus and access to food (11.04.2020).
- Interview linked to Tim Lang’s new ‘Feeding Britain’ book, but links also to Covid-19 (11.04.2020); see also this interview with Geoff Tansey https://geofftansey.wordpress.com/2020/05/10/feeding-britain-our-food-problems-and-how-to-fix-them/ (16.05.2020).
- Go back in time to Mike Davis ‘The Monster At Our Door’ (2005) responding to Avian Flu. Davis argues for international co-operation to secure global public health.
- We need to change how we grow our food (20.04.2020)
- EU towards a sustainable food system (20.04.2020)
- The myth of silver linings https://www.businessgreen.com/blog-post/4012857/myth-silver-linings (24.04.2020) (interesting blog on green growth generally, but very relevant in terms of food system changes that we might anticipate now but might not happen (for various reasons))
- Two blogs from the Future Food team at Nottingham University. The first is about the globalisation of food, their fragility and links to 'planetary health' https://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/futurefood/2020/04/07/global-food-supply-chains-in-times-of-pandemic/ and the second considers global trading patterns https://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/futurefood/2020/04/27/global-trading-the-good-the-bad-and-the-essential/ (both accessed 29.04.2020)
- Podcast on Covid-19 and the food system by the Sustainable Places team at Cardiff University https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/sustainable-places/research/sustainable-places-podcast(accessed 29.04.2020)
- Eating Better blog on the UK food system (five lessons from Covid-19) https://www.eating-better.org/blog/5-things-covid19-has-told-us-about-food-systems-in-the-uk (accessed 29.04.2020)
- This is a crowdsourced Googledoc https://docs.google.com/document/d/10w7MKa1lurkJR5zIJBbG-LyMykhDtxlfO2liGjruNVQ/edit?fbclid=IwAR3on3eJfnhiP7HMiKPfVqxi8nwTnlcZMlNGQlMu_3BGuczaiTT43enZiMA (accessed: 29.04.2020) that covers a range of materials (mostly media articles but academic sources too), across various food system themes (see the contents page). Thanks to Colin Anderson for sending me the link.
- Agriculture and Human Values has a special collection of short essays on COVID-19 forthcoming in Issue 3 (Sept 2020). The contributions look great. Here's the link https://link.springer.com/journal/10460/topicalCollection/AC_f5a2c2971f8e17ca3f5401cfb405594c/page/1 (23.05.2020).
- Ana Moragues-Faus has a useful piece in the A&HV's collection (see above), arguing for the need for a distributive food systems to build just and liveable futures, with a link to the amazing and very relevant work of Iris Young https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10460-020-10087-9 (accessed: 16.05.2020); and this piece, by Lewis Holloway, is useful, linking Covid-19 to his work on infectious farm animal disease and biosecurity https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10460-020-10072-2.pdf(23.05.2020); see also 'Agri-food tech discovers silver linings in the pandemic' (Fairbairn and Guthman) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10460-020-10052-6 (20.06.20).
- Frontiers is also organising a theme issue on the effects of COVID-19 on food supply, diet, nutrition and health https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/14033/the-effects-of-the-covid-19-outbreak-on-food-supply-dietary-patterns-nutrition-and-health (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Journal of Agrarian Change has a call for papers for a special issue on 'Capitalism, Crisis and Covid' https://www.aqs.org.uk/cfp-capitalism-crisis-and-covid-agrarian-political-economy-in-disrupted-circuits-of-capital-and-labour/ (accessed 23.05.2020).
- Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Communiyt Development has a special issue on COVID-19 (early) food system responses https://www.foodsystemsjournal.org/index.php/fsj (30.05.2020).
- Useful report by IPES-Food on COVID-19 and the Crisis in Food Systems http://www.ipes-food.org/pages/covid19 (29.04.2020).
- This article examines food chain disruptions caused by Covid-19, with analysis and case studies from production through to consumption (nice visuals) https://multimedia.scmp.com/infographics/news/world/article/3080824/covid19-disrupts-food-supply/index.html
- Rockerfeller Foundation article (Covid-19 food system reflections) https://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/blog/five-covid-19-reflections-from-a-food-system-perspective-and-how-we-could-take-action/ (accessed 04.05.2020).
- Thoughtful blog by Corinna Hawkes making the case for a systems approach to global health https://www.4sd.info/covid-19-narratives/spotlight-on-systems-with-professor-corinna-hawkes/ , including food systems (systems as multiple and interconnected) (accessed: 06.05.2020).
- Great article by Jennifer Clapp in The New York Times: the Covid-19 crisis is revealing a very broken global food system https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/08/opinion/coronavirus-global-food-supply.html (09.05.2020).
- Michael Pollan article in The New York Review of Books (how Covid19 exposes vulnerabilities in the US food system) https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2020/06/11/covid-19-sickness-food-supply/ (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Phil McMichael: COVID-19 Implications on our 'Broken Food System' https://www.isa-agrifood.com/post/covid-19-implications-on-our-broken-food-system (16.05.2020).
- This Los Angeles Times piece is also a good summary of Covid-19 impacts on the US food chain https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-05-05/coronavirus-food-supply-chain-makers-distributors-retailers (16.05.2020).
- This paper by Christopher Barrett in Nature Food sets out seven actions governments can take to stablise food chains (based on learning from 2008-2012 price spikes) https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-020-0085-y.pdf(09.05.2020).
- Sustainable Healthy Diets and Covid 19: Building Back Better Food Systems https://tastingthefuture.com/2020/05/06/sustainable-healthy-diets-and-covid-19-building-back-better-food-systems/ (09.05.2020).
- Blog from the Nordic Food Policy Lab on how we build back more sustainable food systems, post-Covid (short food chains, diversity, citizen agency) https://tastingthefuture.com/2020/05/06/sustainable-healthy-diets-and-covid-19-building-back-better-food-systems/ (accessed 23.05.2020).
- Impacts of COVID-19 on the Food System (Warwick University resources page) https://warwick.ac.uk/research/priorities/food/foodduringcovid19/ (23.05.2020).
- Coronavirus offers the chance to create a fairer UK food supply chain https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/18/coronavirus-offers-chance-to-create-fairer-uk-food-supply-chain-say-experts (23.05.2020).
- Food systems should focus on public goods - IPES-Food; Peter Jackson is quoted too https://ihsmarkit.com/research-analysis/covid19-shows-food-systems-should-focus-on-public-good.html (23.05.2020).
- Nature Plants editorial: food in a time of COVID-19 (highlighting inequalities in food systems) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-020-0682-7.pdf (30.05.2020).
- Nature Food: exploring wet markets (we need a wider approach than banning these markets; as is often the case, no simple fix!) https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-020-0090-1.pdf; see also this piece about banning bushmeat in The Conversation https://theconversation.com/banning-bushmeat-could-make-it-harder-to-stop-future-pandemics-138735 (both accessed 30.05.2020).
- Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition has outlined 10 farm to fork actions to fix the food system post-covid19 https://www.barillacfn.com/en/ (06.06.2020).
- Food safety risk during the pandemic https://ifst.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/fsat.3402_4.x (06.06.2020).
- Interesting blog [thanks to Matt Reed for sending] by Ludivine Petetin about how we build democratic food systems post-Covid (interconnection, democracy and multi-level governance) https://foodmanifesto.wales/2020/06/01/building-democratic-food-systems-following-covid-19/ (06.06.2020).
- How Food Producers Can Re-Make Their Supply Chains for 21st Century https://www.foodlogistics.com/sustainability/article/21133458/perch-perspectives-how-food-producers-can-remake-their-supply-chains-for-21st-century (06.06.2020).
- Here's a link to my Geography Directions blog that summarises key themes from the COVID-19 sustainable resources page (relationality, food insecurity and relocalisation of food systems) https://blog.geographydirections.com/2020/06/10/covid-19-and-food-systems-relational-geographies-food-insecurity-and-relocalisation/ (11.06.2020).
- Food system fragility: Peter Jackson and Duncan Cameron, Institute for Sustainable Food, argue that Covid-19 highlights the fragility of the food system and what needs to be done to 'build back better' (horticulture, urban growing, procurement schemes, circular economy) https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/sustainable-food/news/coronavirus-pandemic-symptom-broken-food-system (13.06.2020).
- Paper by Ludivine Petetin argues we can use the Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity to integrate food democracy into post-pandemic food systems https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/486D3CB338D1043228183A942E8CF8C9/S1867299X20000409a.pdf/covid19_crisis_an_opportunity_to_integrate_food_democracy_into_post_pandemic_food_systems.pdf (14.06.2020).
- Covid-19 and structural food system change https://www.ids.ac.uk/opinions/linking-covid-19-responses-to-structural-change-in-food-systems/ (14.06.2020).
- Catherine Price: food and memories in the time of Covid-19 https://es.britsoc.co.uk/food-and-memories-in-the-time-of-covid-19/?utm_source=British+Sociological+Association&utm_campaign=15b5696e31-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_06_08_09_54&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_944a94d9c4-15b5696e31-362001761 (14.06.2020).
- This piece argues global food chains are resilient https://www.luke.fi/en/blog/the-global-food-supply-chains-are-resilient/ (20.06.2020).
- International Humanitarian Studies Association Covid-19 blog series https://mailchi.mp/b2668508c02d/ihsa-newsletter-4138047 (20.06.2020).
- Building food system resilience (landscape perspective) https://ecoagriculture.org/blog/how-to-reimagine-our-food-systems-for-a-post-covid-world-taking-a-landscape-perspective/ (20.06.2020).
- A resilient UK food system https://post.parliament.uk/research-briefings/post-pn-0626/ (20.06.2020)
- The Dutch food system post-coronavirus https://www.wur.nl/en/show-longread/The-Dutch-food-system-post-coronavirus.htm (20.06.2020).
- The Pandemic and Our Food System: Why We Might Want to Move Our Food Supply Closer to Home. Pace University discussion with Melanie DuPuis and Jonathan Brown https://pace.zoom.us/rec/play/vZwtdu6qqj03HIfGsASDAP8qW43sLq2s0SgdqaBYnRy9AnIFNAemb7AWMLEefXrDWEU93O6EQfXWcLIy?continueMode=true&_x_zm_rtaid=Yy_R7kUySVahBiEAB18cXw.1593123431211.0989031fc0248aa2a343cf0b0de10791&_x_zm_rhtaid=825 (27.06.2020).
- Article summarising arguments from the Committee on World Food Security's High Level Panel of Experts (call for radical transformation of the food system and extend the defintion of food security to include sustainability and agency) https://www.devex.com/news/radical-transformation-covid-19-shows-urgency-for-food-systems-policy-shifts-97579(28.06.2020).
- How to reimagine our food systems for a post-COVID world | World Economic Forum https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/we-need-to-reimagine-our-food-systems-for-a-post-covid-world/(28.06.2020).
- Infrastructure investments for a greener, more resilient and sustainable country: Ideas and considerations for Canadian decision-makers, including food systems https://ipolitics.ca/2020/06/22/infrastructure-investments-for-a-greener-more-resilient-and-sustainable-country-ideas-and-considerations-for-canadian-decision-makers/(28.06.2020).
- COVID-19: the imperative of a global food system transformation, The Guardian (Advertiser content, Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition) https://www.theguardian.com/advertiser-content/barilla-center-for-food---nutrition/the-imperative-of-a-global-food-system-transformation-after-covid-19-sustainable-and-healthy-diets-for-all (28.06.2020).
- Nordic food lab: Covid-19 and food system resilience (outlines seven principles to build resilience, including diversity and redundancy, connectivity, systems thinking and social learning) https://pub.norden.org/nord2020-038/#29373 (04.07.2020).
Covid-19 expert database, including responses re. food:
- Business, trade and COVID-19: What are experts concerned about? [50 concerns listed re food] https://post.parliament.uk/horizon-scanning/business-trade-and-covid-19-what-are-experts-concerned-about/ (accessed 16.05.2020).
Food policy co-ordination:
- Two useful resources by Kelly Parsons, Rosalind Sharpe and Corinna Hawkes at Food Research Collaboration https://foodresearch.org.uk/publications/who-makes-food-policy-in-england-and-food-policy-coordination-under-covid19/ (05.05.2020): a Guidance Note on why the government’s response to the Covid-19 food crisis needs to be better coordinated; and the detailed report it is based on, Who makes food policy in England?
- Food Secure Canada has produced a food policy action plan in response to COVID-19, centred around resilience and equity https://foodsecurecanada.org/2020-growing-resilience-equity (30.05.2020).
Mapping unhealthy food commodity industry responses:
This is a mapping tool created by the NCD alliance to track how business are responding to COVID-19 and impacts on non-communicable disease https://ncdalliance.org/news-events/news/help-map-unhealthy-commodity-industries-responses-to-covid-19. In particular they track how COVID-19 may be used opportunistically by some food manufacturers/suppliers who promote unhealthy foods. Thanks to Dave Watson for sharing this (accessed: 09.05.2020).
- Sustainable Food Places: fantastic list of local food partnerships that are responding to the crisis, including place-based examples and regular updates (accessed 20.04.2020).
- Useful article describing how CSA, box schemes and other short chains are responding to unprecedented demand (accessed 10.04.2020).
- Sustain has put together a useful list of small food businesses selling on-line (national and regional directories) https://www.sustainweb.org/coronavirus/local_food_online/ (not intended to be an exhaustive list) (04.05.2020), plus selling platforms https://www.sustainweb.org/coronavirus/selling_platforms_for__food_orgs/(16.05.2020).
- Open Food Network UL local food producer list (online retail) https://about.openfoodnetwork.org.uk/blog/support-local-producers-by-shopping-online/ (04.05.2020).
- CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Network UK has put together a great set of Covid-19 resources for CSAs, including food-handling guidelines, how to meet increased demand and volunteer labour issues (accessed 11.04.2020).
- CSA article by Civil Eats reports on their growth during Covid-19 and how they were pioneered by black farmers in southern US states in the 1960s and 1970s https://civileats.com/2020/04/09/community-supported-agriculture-is-surging-amid-the-pandemic/ (14.06.2020).
- Land Workers’ Alliance (resources) (accessed: 11.04.2020).
- The Loans for Enlightened Agriculture Programme (LEAP) has launched an Emergency Small Loans Programme to help support the community food sector (10.04.2020).
- Useful article about Covid-19 and the local abattoir sector, who are critical for local meat chains (10.04.2020), plus a useful list of five websites / platforms that are helping to link local food producers with markets/consumers https://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/resources-to-support-sustainable-food-during-the-lockdown/ (accessed: 22.04.2020).
- Guardian article reporting individual and community grassroots responses to address food access uncertainty in supermarkets (accessed: 11.04.2020).
- Article on meat and veg vending machines (farm shop in Aberdeenshire) (20.04.2020).
- See also past CCRI work for ‘Local Food’ and CPRE food from the ‘Urban Fringe’ (14.03.2020).
- New Food Foundation report on veg. boxes schemes in the UK https://foodfoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Food-Foundation-COVID-19-Veg-Box-Scheme-report.pdf, showing significant increases in demand and how schemes have adapted to sell to priority and vulnerable groups (05.05.2020); see also a summary of the main findings in this blog https://foodfoundation.org.uk/fruit_and_veg_affect/new-food-foundation-data-veg-box-sales-increase-by-111-in-six-weeks-as-a-result-of-covid-19/ (16.05.2020).
- Blog by Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins on local food and Covid-19 https://wiserd.ac.uk/news/could-local-food-fill-our-supermarket-shelves, reminding us that local is 'sticky' and no simple solution (accessed 09.05.2020).
- This blog by Matt Reed and Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins discusses Covid19 and lessons for relocalising food chains (see also their blog for this webpage) https://www.bevanfoundation.org/commentary/can-localising-food-tackle-inequalities/ (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Sustainable Trust guides to 'growing your own' http://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/guides-to-growing-your-own-we-review-our-favourite-books/ (09.05.2020).
- Selling milk from the farm (direct, short chains) http://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/milk-fresh-from-the-farm/ (23.05.2020).
- Blog by Jan Vávra about agriculture, food growing and gardening in the Czech Republic https://timesofcovid19.temporalities.no/2020/04/22/sketches-of-food-agriculture-gardening-and-sustainability-in-the-times-of-covid-19-jan-vavra/ (accessed: 23.05.2020).
- Local food and food gardening, Edible Gardens project, Australia https://urbanagscientist.com/2020/05/19/a-more-locally-connected-resilient-and-tasty-australia-future-how-to-support-all-these-newly-enthused-food-gardeners/ (accessed: 23.05.2020).
- This blog captures what it is like for local food grower Better Food Shed during Covid-19 - they supply box schemes in London (supply challenges noted, esp labour) https://www.sustainweb.org/blogs/may20_farming_through_a_pandemic/ (23.05.2020).
- Indepedent meat processors (abattoirs) in the US (local food chain infrastructure). https://civileats.com/2020/05/19/as-covid-19-disrupts-the-industrial-meat-system-independent-processors-have-a-moment-to-shine/ (23.05.2020); see also this piece about how hog farmers in the midwest have started to sell online and informally https://civileats.com/2020/06/08/struggling-farmers-are-selling-midwest-hogs-ad-hoc-and-online/amp/?__twitter_impression=true (14.06.2020).
- Civil Eats piece from the US argues funds provided to support farmers during the crisis won't benefit small farmers or farmers selling direct to consumers https://civileats.com/2020/06/01/millions-of-dollars-heading-to-farmers-but-small-farms-wont-see-much-of-it/ (06.06.2020).
- Roundtable: The role of local food in future food and farming systems (Vicki Hird - Sustain, Pam Warhurst - Incredible Edible, Peter Segger - Blaencamel Farm) https://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/roundtable-the-role-of-local-food-in-future-food-and-farming-systems/(06.06.2020).
- Veg box sales increased by 3000% for veg box companies in Scotland https://www.thenational.scot/news/18485299.veg-box-market-booms-3000-scots-source-locally-grown-produce/?ref=twtrec (06.06.2020).
- Useful overview and links to local food partnerships in the UK, including case studies and examples https://www.sustainablefoodplaces.org/coronavirus/ (06.06.2020).
- Getting recognition and support for local food partnerships (letter to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick) https://www.sustainablefoodplaces.org/news/national_media_release_day_of_action_jun20/ (11.06.2020).
- COVID-19: Local Food System Resources, Montgomery County Food Council https://mocofoodcouncil.org/covid-19-local-food-system-resources/(13.06.2020).
- Interesting article by historian David Edgerton about 'autarky' (more generally but obvious links to local food self-sufficiency) https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2020/06/new-age-autarky (13.06.2020).
- Online farmers' markets: Good Food Exeter https://goodfoodexeter.co.uk/buy/ (14.06.2020).
- Farm to tablet (how farmers and consumers in Florida are using the internet to sell/buy food) https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/opinion/sunday/farmers-florida-coronavirus.html (14.06.2020).
- The Civil Eats website has articles re. farmers' markets in the US (how to keep them open, supported, etc.), plus analysis of food hubs, food co-ops and civic networks. Great coverage of Covid-19 and food systems in the US https://civileats.com/ (14.06.2020).
- Building local food system resilience https://localtrust.org.uk/news-and-stories/blog/how-can-we-build-resilient-food-systems-in-the-covid-19-recovery/ (20.06.2020).
- Need to save farmers' markets (Civil Eats) https://civileats.com/2020/05/29/op-ed-we-must-save-farmers-markets/ (20.06.2020).
- Examples of how farmers' markets in the US are responding to Covid-19 and racial protests https://foodprint.org/blog/farmers-markets-challenges/ (27.06.2020).
- The value of local - Sustainable Food Trust http://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/the-value-of-local/ (28.06.2020).
- Community Supported Agriculture is a Safe and Resilient Alternative to Industrial Agriculture in the Time of Covid-19, International Network URGENCI, 7th April, 2020 http://urgenci.net/community-supported-agriculture-is-a-safe-and-resilient-alternative-to-industrial-agriculture-in-the-time-of-covid-19/?(accessed: 28.06.2020).
- Fighting for the Forgotten Keystone of Local Food – the Abattoir https://pipersfarm.com/blogs/journal/fighting-for-the-forgotten-keystone-of-local-food-the-abattoir (04.07.2020).
- Digitising the Solidarity Economy – Desira (case study of Open Food Network) http://desira2020.eu/2020/04/30/article-digitising-the-solidarity-economy/ (04.07.2020).
- Wicked Leeks blog by Nina Pullman. Survey of 102 small food businesses in London shows their adaptability during the crisis, but need to support local food post-Covid too! https://wickedleeks.riverford.co.uk/news/local-sourcing-ethical-business/support-local-food-after-covid-shoppers-urged (04.07.2020).
Shortening supply chains (regional resilience)
- Useful Soil Association report about shortening food chains to build regional resilience post-Covid-19 https://www.soilassociation.org/shortening-supply-chains-roads-to-regional-resilience/ (06.06.2020).
- This manifesto, from the Dynamic Food Procurement National Advisory Board, also sets out useful ways forward re. post-Covid-19 economic recovery http://ad555873-f343-4a7c-b674-b0e4792f5f9a.filesusr.com/ugd/6b24d7_a54481998a1c4b45bbd44542515b592e.pdf (06.06.2020).
- Anna Krzywoszynska (Institute for Sustainable Food) explains why more local food supplies could prevent empty shelves after the pandemic (food system resilience) and introduces a new project which will study the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on local food producers https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/sustainable-food/news/more-local-food-supplies-could-prevent-empty-shelves-after-pandemic-say-experts (20.06.2020).
- Blog by Anna Krzywoszynska (Institute for Sustainable Food): Will local food producers keep feeding us beyond Covid-19? Key message: we need to build functional diversity in food systems https://blog.geographydirections.com/2020/07/01/will-local-food-producers-keep-feeding-us-beyond-covid-19/ (04.07.2020).
A more critical relocalisation perspective:
- Interesting article from Jayson Lusk (agricultural economist) on the short food chain / relocalisation food system response, reminding us not to see these responses as a panacea to problems that might be more systemic [that's what i take from it anyway!] http://jaysonlusk.com/blog/2020/5/12/ruminations-on-solutions-to-the-covid-related-food-disruptions (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Plaid Cymru's 'buy local' campaign to boost farmers https://www.farminguk.com/news/plaid-cymru-s-buy-local-campaign-to-boost-farmers_55691.html (accessed 23.05.2020).
- Re-setting food systems in Wales (food democracy via local authorities and community groups) https://foodmanifesto.wales/2020/06/18/how-local-authorities-and-community-groups-can-re-set-the-food-system/ (20.06.2020).
- FAO has created an Agroecology Knowledge Hub, including several articles related to local and urban food networks http://www.fao.org/agroecology/slideshow/news-article/en/c/1268856/ (accessed: 09.05.2020).
- This blog by Joanna Lewis (Soil Association) argues agroecology should be a priority for UK food security post-Covid http://blogs.bath.ac.uk/iprblog/2020/05/01/coronavirus-caught-our-food-system-on-the-back-foot-but-lets-not-take-a-backward-step/?utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=social_organic&utm_campaign=news_proactive&utm_content=jo_lewis_ipr_blog (accessed 09.05.2020).
- Organic food sales increase reported https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2020/05/06/Organic-food-gets-coronavirus-boost (09.05.2020).
- An interview with Simon Crichton, Triodos Bank, re. financing agroecological businesses for a fairer (post-Covid) food system https://www.sustainweb.org/blogs/may20_finance_fairer_food/ (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Regenerative agriculture in the pandemic (Stemple Creek Ranch) https://civileats.com/2020/06/16/civil-eats-tv-regenerative-ranching-in-a-pandemic/ (20.06.2020).
- UK food surplus charity (Fair Share) given 360 tonnes more than usual as food service businesses close (accessed: 10.04.2020).
- WARP is trying to develop new ways to significantly increase surplus food redistribution (accessed: 10.04.2020).
- Data from WRAP re citizens and food during lockdown https://wrap.org.uk/content/citizens-and-food-covid-19-lockdown (23.05.2020). Reports a 34% drop in how much food households throw away, plus more food planning and creative cooking. A positive silver lining (amidst the mostly gloomy news).
- Food sharing during Covid-19, report from Philadelphia https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2020-05-17/food-sharing-during-covid-19-video (23.05.2020).
- UK takeaway food waste rises during coronavirus lockdown https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/13/uk-takeaway-food-waste-rises-during-coronavirus-lockdown (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- The oil crash has created a plastic recycling trap https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/goodbye-waste-free-future-the-oil-crash-has-created-a-plastic-recycling-trap-20200507-p54qkb.html (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Useful circular economy article on 'building a healthy and resilient food system - A circular economy for food in a post-Covid-19 world' https://medium.com/circulatenews/building-a-healthy-and-resilient-food-system-352195694118 (11.06.2020); see also: 'the Covid-19 recovery requires a resilient circular economy' https://medium.com/circulatenews/the-covid-19-recovery-requires-a-resilient-circular-economy-e385a3690037 (11.06.2020).
- FarmLink: grassroots initiative in the US which reduces food waste, pays the farmers (using donations) and distributes the food to nearby food banks (great initiative!) https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/06/10/extra-food-is-rotting-farms-while-americans-go-hungry-this-group-is-trying-fix-that/ (20.06.2020).
- Reality bites: how the pandemic changed the way we eat, The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/04/reality-bites-how-the-pandemic-changed-the-way-we-eat (06.07.2020).
- AHDB Market Impact - Markets and Prices (accessed: 20.04.2020).
- Excellent AHDB podcast on how Covid-19 is impacting UK dairy markets https://audioboom.com/posts/7569431-covid-19-special-the-impact-of-coronavirus-on-the-dairy-industry (04.05.2020); differential impact between retail and food service sales.
- FAO has useful tools to support policy analyses and assess COVID-19 impacts on food and agriculture, value chains and food security, including real-time data analysis of food chain and food price impacts http://www.fao.org/2019-ncov/en/(29.04.2020); plus this big data tool on food chain impacts https://datalab.review.fao.org/index.html#.XsJbNZRZCW8.twitter (23.05.2020).
- IFPRI has great resources to track production and stocks of key crops at global and country levels https://www.ifpri.org/covid-19, plus food price and food trade tracker tools (09.05.2020).
- IFPRI has also created a COVID-19 Policy Response Portal which captures policy responses through multiple channels, including population restrictions, social protection, trade, health, fiscal, and monetary measures. Different channels impact agri-food systems (data at country level) https://www.ifpri.org/project/covid-19-policy-response-cpr-portal (06.06.2020).
- Short-term Agricultural Outlook report. Suggests Covid-19 is a demand rather than a supply shock, with European ag. sectors resilient to the crisis and food service re-opening likely to make a big difference https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/short-term-outlook-good-production-prospects-many-agricultural-sectors-overall-sector-should-benefit-reopening-foodservice-2020-jul-06_en (06.07.2020).
Covid dashboard (Europe)
- Covid dashboard, Europe (cases by country) https://covid-statistics.jrc.ec.europa.eu/QlikDashboard?sheet=multidim (20.06.2020).
Food system organisations:
- Sustain (the alliance for better food and farming). This link includes a range of case studies and responses to the crisis e.g. guidelines to help keep food markets open, case studies to support vulnerable groups and ways we can support the fishing fleet. If you are on Twitter, follow Vicki Hird and Kate Dalmeny.
- Food Ethics Council. They are compiling great material too, including a #FridayFoodChampions award for food citizenship responses to Covid-19 (@FoodEthicsNews), plus this article about ‘ethics in our food response to Covid-19’ (accessed: 11.04.2020) and their #FoodTalks https://www.foodethicscouncil.org/resource/foodtalks-from-emergency-to-recovery/ (04.05.2020). If you are on Twitter, follow Dan Crossley.
- Sustainable Food Trust. They have produced some interesting articles on Covid-19. I have included some specific ones below re small and local food businesses, but you can find them all here (11.04.2020).
- Sustainable Food Places. Collating material on local food responses (see below also under local food networks theme), as well as tracking food insecurity and business impacts: see this page (accessed 20.04.2020); see also this link to their COVID-19 podcast series https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/sustainable-places/research/sustainable-places-podcast (28.06.2020).
- The Food Foundation. Articles tracking Covid-19 food system impacts, particularly impacts on food prices and food accessibility and survey data on household food security, see this page (11.04.2020).
- N8 Agrifood. Compiled a list of international organisations dealing with the crisis, plus key news items (accessed: 20.04.2020).
- Institute of Food Science and Technology. IFST has created a COVID-19 knowledge hub https://www.ifst.org/resources-policy/covid-19-knowledge-hub (accessed: 29.04.2020), with key resources and links on consumption, food education and SME operations.
- Food Climate Research Network. Lots of useful material on sustainable food systems https://fcrn.org.uk/. Their newsletter (Fodder) features interesting Covid-19 articles. They have also put together a list of COVID-19 food system resources (blogs, papers, etc.) https://fcrn.org.uk/research-library/covid-19-and-food-list (14.06.2020).
- Food Research Collaboration. Useful working papers on food policy co-ordination https://foodresearch.org.uk/publications/who-makes-food-policy-in-england-and-food-policy-coordination-under-covid19/, including the different organisations in England involved in food governance (and the need for coordination) (05.05.2020).
Food, farming and the rural economy:
- NFU. Coronavirus up-dates and advice page (20.04.2020).
- AHDB. Useful material on markets, plus farmer and grower guidance (general/sector) (accessed: 20.04.2020).
- RSA Food and Farming Countryside Commission. Tracking impact of the virus on farming, food and rural communities. Coordinating a ‘road to renewal’ response and evidence gathering. Article by Tom MacMillan explains what they are planning (accessed: 11.04.2020). If you are on Twitter, follow Sue Pritchard. In this link, you can find FFCC's 'learning from the lockdown' survey findings https://www.ffcc.co.uk/lockdown-survey (06.06.2020). Shows 80% of respondents wanted most things to be different in the recovery. None wanted everything to go back to how it was before.
- Centre for Rural Economy has produced an excellent briefing paper on Covid-19 impacts on rural economies, including agriculture (accessed: 20.04.2020).
- Rural Policy Group: Running a series of virtual seminars on the rural economy and Covid19 https://ruralpolicy.group/red(16.05.2020).
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee:
- EFRA Select Committee Inquiry: COVID-19 and food supply https://committees.parliament.uk/work/217/covid19-and-food-supply/ (24.04.2020).
- This is the video link to the first EFRA Committee meeting for COVID-19 and food supply, 05.05.2020: https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/cbf5c316-5053-48d4-a0f9-be8e82bea32c. Witnesses: Minette Batters, President, National Farmers' Union; Tom Hind, Chief Strategy Officer, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board; Jack Ward, Chief Executive Officer, British Growers Association (accessed: 06.05.2020).
- The second EFRA COVID-19 and food supply public evidence session took place on 15.05.2020. The session covered "how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the ability of vulnerable people to get sufficient healthy food, and the impact on charities such as food banks who help people facing food insecurity". See also the food security UK thread.
- You can access the oral and written evidence submitted to the inquiry via this link https://committees.parliament.uk/work/217/covid19-and-food-supply/publications/ (accessed 23.05.2020).
- AHDB Weekly updates on agricultural commodities and price evolution. Weekly analysis of markets and the processing sector.
- Potato mountains and rotten cheese (Europe) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-52715288/coronavirus-leads-to-food-industry-crisis-in-europe (23.05.2020).
Meat & food processing plants (USA, Germany, France, UK, the Netherlands):
- Financial Times article on Trump's executive order to keep meat processing plants open in the US https://www.ft.com/content/2c7e1a34-2cd7-4b80-ae2d-a8549f565423 and here too on slaughterhouse shutdowns in the US https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/29/millions-of-farm-animals-culled-as-us-food-supply-chain-chokes-up-coronavirus (both accessed 04.05.2020).
- Excellent overview of the Smitfield outbreak (pork plant) in South Dakota in April 2020 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-52311877 (accessed 20.06.2020).
- This article in The Economist https://www.economist.com/united-states/2020/04/30/in-america-the-virus-threatens-a-meat-industry-that-is-too-concentrated argues meat processing in the US is too concentrated (thanks Théo Lenormand for the link) (06.05.2020).
- The Economist reports a surge in meat prices in the US because of Covid-19 https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/05/13/the-spread-of-covid-has-caused-a-surge-in-american-meat-prices?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/dailychartthespreadofcovidhascausedasurgeinamericanmeatpricesgraphicdetail(accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Mapping Covid-19 in meat and food processing plants in the US https://thefern.org/2020/04/mapping-covid-19-in-meat-and-food-processing-plants/ (thanks to Gareth Enticott for this and the previous link) (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- COVID-19 has infected 3000+ US meat packing workers (data from United Food and Commercial Workers International Union) https://thepoultrysite.com/news/2020/05/covid-19-has-infected-more-than-3-000-us-meat-plant-workers (30.05.2020).
- A summary of COVID-19 in the meatpacking industry - using URLs from NodeXL Graph Gallery reports (thanks Gareth Enticott for the link) https://wakelet.com/wake/_AGj4_s-vwBbbm4nArZDs; and here's the BMJ piece (summarising the twitter analysis) https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/05/29/learning-about-covid-19-outbreaks-from-non-viral-tweets/ (both accessed 30.05.2020).
- Critical analysis of the mismanagement of the pandemic in Iowa meatpackers, Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/28/springtime-fear-small-meatpacking-town/ (30.05.2020).
- Bloomberg article reports on outbreaks in 60 food processing plants beyond meat packing in the US, with workers exposed to avoidable risks https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-09/outbreaks-at-60-u-s-food-plants-raise-specter-of-more-shortages (11.06.2020); see also this USA Today piece reporting a rise in Covid cases as meatpacking plants increase production after Trump declared meat processing an essential operation https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2020/06/06/meatpacking-plants-cant-shake-covid-19-cases-despite-trump-order/3137400001/ (14.06.2020).
- COVID-19 and meat (items of interest, Marion Nestle blog) https://www.foodpolitics.com/2020/06/keeping-up-with-covid-19-and-meat-items-of-interest/ (28.06.2020).
- This article on outbreaks of Covid-19 in meat processing factors in Germany is interesting. Similar to reports in the US (see above) it highlights wider structural and ethical questions about the labour conditions and the safety of workers https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/22/exploitative-conditions-germany-to-reform-meat-industry-after-spate-of-covid-19-cases (23.05.2020).
- This article also covers outbreaks of Covid-19 in German meatpackers (thanks to Gareth Enticott for the link) https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-breaks-out-in-third-german-slaughterhouse/a-53389860 (23.05.2020).
- This article suggests the ventilation system played a major role in the spread of Covid-19 amongst employees at the German pig slaughterhouse Tönnies https://www.pigprogress.net/Finishers/Articles/2020/6/Covid-19-German-meatpackers-improve-hiring-procedures-603063E/ (27.06.2020).
- Meat plant must be held to account for Covid-19 outbreak, says German minister | Coronavirus outbreak | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/22/meat-plant-must-be-held-to-account-covid-19-outbreak-germany (28.06.2020).
- Outbreaks of coronavirus at two abattoirs in France (May 2020) https://www.france24.com/en/20200518-france-hit-by-new-covid-19-outbreaks-in-two-abattoirs (accessed: 20.06.2020).
- Coronavirus outbreak (just under 100 workers tested positive) at two food processors in Wales (chicken) https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-53091149 (20.06.2020).
- Article about Asda's Kober Ltd meat processing plant in West Yorkshire - useful material on worker conditions https://inews.co.uk/news/real-life/coronavirus-covid-19-asda-kober-cleckheaton-meat-factory-processing-plant-cases-safety-452466?ito=twitter_share_article-top (27.06.2020).
- Workers at 2 Sisters tell of fear and terror at coronavirus struck factory - Wales Online https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/coronavirus-chicken-factory-anglesey-wales-18469347(28.06.2020).
- What explains the high rate of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in meat and poultry facilities? (analysis of meat and poultry processing facilities in different countries; shows influence of the working environment, plus a low-paid workforce, who may be under pressure to keep working) https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/what-explains-the-high-rate-of-sars-cov-2-transmission-in-meat-and-poultry-facilities-2/
- See this paper also (thanks to Gareth Enticott for the link) using Twitter analytics to review scientific evidence on the link between meat and poultry facilities and covid-19 clusters https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/05/29/learning-about-covid-19-outbreaks-from-non-viral-tweets/ (20.06.2020); the analysis shows "the complex public health problems faced by meatpackers, both before and during the covid-19 pandemic".
- Coronavirus cases at Merthyr meat plant leap by 101 after weekend testing https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-cases-merthyr-meat-plant-18507667?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar (accessed: 04.07.2020).
- Inside a UK meat processing plant (chicken) hit by coronavirus outbreak where workers can't afford time off sick https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/inside-uk-meat-processing-plant-22292920 (04.07.2020).
- British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) report offers solutions to workforce challenges and is calling on the Home Office to include Butchers on the Shortage Occupation List https://britishmeatindustry.org/industry-news/new-bmpa-report-offers-solutions-to-workforce-challenges/ (04.07.2020).
- China suspends bulk of Dutch pork imports after COVID-19 outbreaks at main slaughterhouses https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-netherlands-pork/china-suspends-bulk-of-dutch-pork-imports-after-covid-19-outbreaks-idUSKBN2411RU (04.07.2020).
Not just meat!
New outbreak data from @CDPHE shows growth in COVID-19 cases throughout food processing in the US (-140+ new cases at Greeley JBS; + outbreaks at Ft Morgan’s Cargill, Leprino’s cheese plants and new outbreaks at commercial bakeries) https://covid19.colorado.gov/data/outbreak-data [thanks to Melanie DuPuis for this link, via Twitter] (20.06.2020).
Independent meat processors
- Indepedent meat processors (abattoirs) in the US. Civil Eats piece https://civileats.com/2020/05/19/as-covid-19-disrupts-the-industrial-meat-system-independent-processors-have-a-moment-to-shine/ (23.05.2020).
- See also this article on small-scale abattoirs https://www.hcn.org/articles/covid-19-will-covid-19-help-save-small-slaughterhouses (23.05.2020).
- Due to the slaughterhouse crisis caused by COVID-19, some pork producers in the US are slaughtering their own animals (Iowa examples) https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/10/us-producers-in-tears-at-having-to-cull-livestock-on-their-farms?CMP=share_btn_tw (11.06.2020).
Supply chain vulnerability
- Financial Times piece about the vulnerability of food chains to Covid-19, especially meat processing; other global food networks are more agile; short chains offer greater resilience https://www.ft.com/content/d7a12d18-8313-11ea-b6e9-a94cffd1d9bf (30.05.2020).
- Useful overview of how COVID-19 has impacted food supply and distribution in the U.S., including farm labour, supply chain disruptions and adjustments from food service to retail markets https://civileats.com/2020/04/15/food-distribution-101-what-happens-when-the-food-supply-is-disrupted-by-a-pandemic/ (28.06.2020).
Concerns about food fraud
- Recent horsemeat seizures has raised concerns about food fraud, with criminal gangs exploiting supply chain vulnerabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/23/horsemeat-seized-amid-fears-criminals-exploiting-coronavirus/ (30.05.2020).
- Sustainable Food Places webpage has useful resources/articles on how different cities / urban food partnerships in the UK are responding https://www.sustainablefoodplaces.org/ (accessed: 23.05.2020); see also their day of celebration and action for local food partnerships (10th June 2020) https://mailchi.mp/9be133996c85/sustainable-food-places-newsletter-may-2726972 (30.05.2020).
- Written from the perspective of feeding cities as energy becomes more scarce Joy Carey’s ‘Who Feeds Bristol’ remains a vital resource for thinking about urban food resilience (14.03.2020).
- This article was published just before the lock-down, and like Joy Carey they estimate the capacity of a large western city (Sheffield) could provide - through urban agriculture - 15% of its own food needs (14.03.2020).
- FAO paper about the importance of urban food systems (20.04.2020).
- City and city region impacts and responses http://www.fao.org/in-action/food-for-cities-programme/news/covid-19/en/ (04.05.2020); plus this city region food system article by Alison Blay-Palmer and colleagues for RUAF https://ruaf.org/news/city-region-food-systems-to-cope-with-covid-19-and-other-pandemic-emergencies/ (16.05.2020).
- Thoughtful blog by Adrian Ely (STEPS) about links between national food planning and local organisations https://steps-centre.org/blog/food-in-the-time-of-covid-19-how-can-local-action-and-national-coordination-work-together/, drawing on his work with the Brighton and Hove Partnership and the importance of these forms of partnership during the crisis (accessed 09.05.2020).
- This blog gives an overview of Bristol's 'Going for Gold' and other food policies in the wake of Covid-19 https://sustainablefoodtrust.org/articles/going-for-gold-in-the-wake-of-covid-19/?utm_source=SFT+Newsletter&utm_campaign=6d983255c7-Newsletter+214_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bf20bccf24-6d983255c7-105088289 (accessed 23.05.2020).
- Importance of farmland on city edges (analysis from Melbourne, where land on city edge provided important produce during Covid; need to maintain land zoned for farming going forward) https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/planners-say-pandemic-shows-farmland-on-city-fringes-is-crucial-20200505-p54pxs.html (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- This blog, by Sharelle Polack, Braulio Eduardo Morera, Alex Ryan and Laura Platenkamp, argues that city-level governments have a key role to play re. food system governance in the COVID-19 pandemic https://nutritionconnect.org/resource-center/blog-26-urban-governments-have-key-role-play-covid-19-pandemic (30.05.2020).
- Food growing in Dublin: community gardens as a post-Covid-19 sustainable food future (social resilience) https://sharecity.ie/dublins-food-growing-scene-are-community-gardens-a-solution-in-our-covid-19-future/ (06.06.2020).
- Growth in urban gardens in Montreal (veg. donated to community orgs.) https://www.shareable.net/covid-19-pandemic-brings-new-growth-to-montreals-urban-gardens/ (13.06.2020).
Urban farming in Malawi: positive story about how Covid-19 is boosting the growth of urban farming and backyard farming in Lilongwe https://medium.com/enabling-sustainability/its-a-new-era-for-urban-farming-in-malawi-4d0cccbeb802 (13.06.2020).
- Home gardening in the US https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/06/food-insecure-americans-are-home-farming-as-covid-wreaks-havoc-on-agricultural-chain (14.06.2020).
- How cities are feeding residents today and building a better tomorrow https://www.c40knowledgehub.org/s/article/Food-and-COVID-19-How-cities-are-feeding-residents-today-and-building-a-better-tomorrow?language=en_US (14.06.2020).
- Urban agriculture / backyard food production in the US as a coronavirus silver lining. Good article, showing how the pandemic has rekindled interest and belief in the value of urban, local and regional food systems (after recent criticisms) https://civileats.com/2020/04/15/the-rebirth-of-urban-ag-is-a-coronavirus-silver-lining/(28.06.2020).
- Food Sharing in the United States: What’s Changed During COVID-19? https://sharecity.ie/food-sharing-in-the-us-whats-changed-during-covid-19/ (04.07.2020).
- Covid-19 and cities: Lessons on maintaining access to good food (cases from New York, Kampala and Quito) https://www.rikolto.org/en/news/covid-19-and-cities-lessons-maintaining-access-good-food (04.07.2020).
- Birmingham's local response to Covid-19 (a local authority and voluntary sector partnership approach) https://www.sustainablefoodplaces.org/news/birmingham_local_response_to_covid_19_jul20_/ (06.07.2020).
- A couple of great resources from Bristol to support and encourage citizens to buy local and support food retail independents, from Bristol Food Network and Support Bristol Food (accessed: 10.04.2020); see also https://www.goingforgoldbristol.co.uk/bristolfoodkind-highlights-so-far/ (09.05.2020).
- BBC News coverage of how independent retailers are adapting during Covid-19 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-52589775 (23.05.2020).
- UK corner shops and independent grocers see a sharp rise in sales (63% increase) https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/may/27/uk-corner-shops-and-independent-grocers-ring-up-63-per-cent-rise-in-sales-coronavirus?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tweet (30.05.2020).
- Until recently local food producers lacked access to the software to create their own online presence and sales dedicated to food. To learn more about open and accessible software see these pages from the Open Food Network and Local Food Nodes (14.03.2020).
- A small village transformation of shopping under lockdown in Wiltshire (20.04.2020).
- Civil Eats piece about how community food co-ops are thriving in the US, largely because of how they organise their supply chains (local infrastructure) https://civileats.com/2020/05/15/community-food-co-ops-are-thriving-during-the-pandemic/ (23.05.2020).
- Bon Appetit article about how food businesses (restaurants, food stores) in the US are responding https://www.bonappetit.com/story/food-businesses-covid-19 (06.06.2020).
- Deliveroo and food chains (Pizza Hut, Pret a Manger, Itsu and Wagamama) ask Boris Johnson for help during pandemic https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jun/16/deliveroo-and-food-chains-ask-boris-johnson-for-help-during-pandemic?CMP=share_btn_tw (20.06.2020).
- Has coronavirus sent the out-of-town shopping centre packing? [probably not!?] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/24/coronavirus-out-of-town-shopping-centre (27.06.2020).
- Article about how One Fair Wage, working in partnership with New York City, will provide grants to 100 family-run restaurants that closed due to C-19. Aim to also improve how they pay workers https://civileats.com/2020/06/19/one-fair-wage-wants-to-help-reopen-restaurants-and-change-how-they-pay-workers/ (28.06.2020).
- Bristol chefs are calling for more support to help the 44,000 jobs connected to Bristol's food & drink industry https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-53106484 (28.06.2020).
- Marketplaces as public spaces in times of the Covid‐19 coronavirus outbreak. Analysis of markets in the Netherlands (some closed but some formed new economic infrastructures to sell produce) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/tesg.12431?campaign=wolearlyview (28.06.2020).
- Why local markets are key to reviving our locked down town centres https://www.sustainweb.org/blogs/jun20_markets_covid_recovery/ (04.07.2020).
- Morrison’s Food Boxes (accessed: 10.04.2020). Picked this up via Sarah Holloway’s Twitter feed, who commented “If anyone is struggling to get online food orders for elderly or self-isolating relatives in a different part of the country, I'd recommend googling 'Morrison's Food Boxes'. They send a sensible selection of food and household goods. Booking to delivery was less than 48 hours”.
- Morrisons unveils 10kg 'British Food Box' to support farmers - Farming UK, 12.05.20 https://www.farminguk.com/news/morrisons-unveils-10kg-british-food-box-to-support-farmers_55628.html (accessed: 16.05.2020).
- Stockpiling led to huge boosts in retail sales, including Tesco (10.04.2020).
- Concerns about food shortages is another key narrative in the debate. This article captures that perspective.
- Which ? Information on how supermarket and the retail industry are responding to the current crisis. Weekly Updates, including data on shopping habits (20.04.2020).
- Waitrose launches promotion to buy/eat more steak https://www.farminguk.com/news/waitrose-launches-biggest-ever-steak-promotional-push_55541.html and support British livestock farmers (accessed 04.05.2020).
- This Guardian article reports on a stakeholder revolt over executive pay, but data too reporting a significant rise in profits from food sales, plus a shift to online sales, during COVID-19 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jun/26/tesco-sales-soar-as-customers-turn-to-deliveries-in-pandemic-coronavirus(27.06.2020).
- Tesco demands supplier price cuts in discount battle https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53284788 (04.07.2020).
Trade in high-value horticultural exports (Kenya to European supermarkets)
Global lockdown has hit large and small horticultural growers in Kenya, especially trade with European supermarkets (Franch beans, flowers, etc.). Some have started to sell more via retailers in Nairobi (Carrefour, Quick Mart and KFC). https://www.ecowatch.com/kenya-exports-covid-2646163421.html (13.06.2020); see also this Food Tank piece https://foodtank.com/news/2020/06/covid-19-is-hitting-kenyan-horticulture-exports-hard/ (14.06.2020).
Big food brands moving online
- This Financial Times article, if access is possible, is interesting: suggests 'big food' brands are moving online during the crisis and sidestepping retailers; also reports an increase in the consumption of ultraprocessed foods https://www.ft.com/content/2a8b011a-60e0-4bd7-bdac-c22c6a210ea5 (30.05.2020).
- Webinar 1 – Local Food After the Pandemic. Dan Keech (CCRI) Ped Asigarian (The Community Farm)
- Webinar 2 - Community Supported Agriculture. Jasmine Black (CCRI); Agroecology in Uganda. Nick James (Open University).
- Webinar 3 - Brexit & Food Citizenship. Ludivine Petetin (Cardiff University); Food in Japan during COVID-19. Steven McGreevy (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan)
- Webinar 4 - Achieving 'Food for Life' gold status in Bristol. Joy Carey; Enacting Food Policy in the UK. Dr. Kelly Parsons
In this blog, we hear from Dr. John Lever, Reader at the Centre for Sustainability, Responsibility, Governance and Ethics at the University of Huddersfield who has been conducting research on the regional food system in Kirklees in West Yorkshire for over five years.
Entitled ‘COVID-19 Reset: Place-based food initiatives in a time of crisis’ we hear from Dr. Rebecca Sandover, Research Fellow University of Exeter and Trustee Food Exeter.
In the latest blog post related to COVID-19 and sustainable food systems, we hear from Steven McGreevy & Norie Tamura from the FEAST project at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan who discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected rural and urban areas in Japan.
In the latest Covid-19 and sustainable food systems blog, CCRI researcher Jasmine Black discusses the resilience of CSA and veg box schemes.