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[email protected]: Farmers struggle even as demand soars | Meat production and COVID-19

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Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

Farmers can't keep up with demand for local produce, but they're still struggling to replace lost revenue

The pandemic has consumers thinking far more about how many steps in the supply chain it takes for food to reach store shelves; as a result, there has been a surge of interest nationwide in local farms and CSAs that offer delivery of fresh produce. But the building the infrastructure to connect directly with consumers is an enormous hurdle that many farmers are quickly grappling with as they face a decline in sales from March to May of almost $689 million. Read more at Slate


Is the coronavirus pandemic related to meat consumption?

COVID-19 is tangentially related to meat production and consumption, but that isn't the whole story in the slightest. Larger and more nuanced issues need to be discussed in the context of the current pandemic, including food insecurity, industrialized agriculture and the illicit trading of wild animals. Here, five experts explain what we know about where the virus came from and how a global loss of biodiversity played a larger role than most people think. Read more at The Counter


Farmworkers deemed 'essential' but still largely unprotected

Growers and government alike are largely failing to protect the community of farmworkers that keep America's food supply chain running from COVID-19. Out of the $10 billion allocated for the agriculture sector from the $3-trillion federal stimulus package passed last month, there has been no proposition as of yet to use some the money to protect farmworkers. However, progress is being made. In California, for example, growers are urging sick workers to stay at home and limiting the sizes of work crews for social distancing purposes. Read more at Ag Insider


UNFI sells the real estate of 15 Cub Foods locations

UNFI has thus far been unsuccessful in selling the 79 Cub Foods locations it owns. As a result, Chief Executive Steve Spinner revealed the company would be selling the real estate of 15 Club Foods stores for $170 million. Spinner also stated that the money would go toward repaying outstanding debt. Read more at Star Tribune


Watchdog groups say new FDA, CDC guidelines don't go far enough to protect essential food workers

To prevent more food processing plants from shutting down, FDA and CDC are asking companies to implement a variety of preventative measures. These include recommending food workers wash their hands regularly and wear gloves at all times and asking employers to shut down salad bars, buffets and beverage service stations. But these are all ultimately guidelines, which has some critics worried that the Trump administration isn't doing enough to ensures such businesses are implementing them and keeping workers safe. Read more at The Washington Post

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