Produce wholesalers in Dallas that usually sell to restaurants, schools and other foodservice channels are figuring out how to get their fresh fruits and vegetables directly to consumers during the pandemic. Hardie's Fresh Foods is selling from a truck in an empty parking lot to consumers who line up in their vehicles.
It's the busy season for horticulture businesses in South Florida and many are working fast to ship their tropical plants to businesses around the country amid a pandemic that's forcing more non-essential businesses around the country to close. Horticulture is a $15 billion business for Florida in normal times, according to the Northeast Chapter of the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association.
Farmers in states including New Mexico and Idaho are promoting Community Supported Agriculture programs to consumers concerned about going to the grocery store in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Typical CSAs deliver weekly boxes of produce throughout the season, and at least one farm is offering four-week commitments amid the pandemic.
US consumers turned to Victory Gardens to feed the country during World War I and more people today are looking to grow their own food amid the pandemic. The trend has been fueling sales of soil, seeds and other gardening items this spring, and some states including New Jersey have classified nurseries and garden stores as essential businesses.
The FDA is reassuring the public that America's food supply is safe and that there is no evidence that food or food packaging has transmitted the coronavirus, writes Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas. The administration is protecting its employees by postponing food facility and farm inspections but will resume inspections in cases of a potential public health threat.
The response of grocers, foodservice companies and consumer packaged goods producers to the coronavirus pandemic drew in large numbers of SmartBrief's food and beverage readers this past week. Some of the most popular stories included the designation of grocery employees as essential workers in three states, as well as the measures many grocers are taking to stop the spread of the virus in their stores.
Technology has helped Israel's agriculture industry grow exponentially, and the country grows and makes 95% of its food despite rocky and semi-arid conditions, Gary Baise writes. The country boasted about 530 agtech companies in 2018 focused on making improvements in areas including irrigation, pest control, fertilizing and harvesting fruit.
Closed borders among EU countries are starting to take a toll on farmers in Germany who depend on workers from other parts of the EU to bring in the harvest. Farms in Germany employed about 300,000 seasonal workers last year.
Anxiety can spike when we feel disconnected, lose control or lack the skills to cope when a crisis hits, writes Susan Fowler. "Sometimes, recognizing you have choice is all you need to make the right choice and regain your sense of control," she writes.
Leaders should follow the guidelines of the wilderness organization Leave No Trace by putting aside their own ego for the good of the organization, writes Mark Brown, drawing on insights from New York Life CEO Ted Mathas. Referring to the abundant resources available outdoors, Brown makes the parallel to team member creativity, encouraging leaders to fully use their potential.
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