In an Executive Director report, Terence Hochstein of the Potato Growers of Alberta said: “As I write this article for May 1st, Canada is now 107 days from the first reported case of COVID-19. Never in the history of mankind has the entire world come to a screeching halt; the world economy is completely upside down. There are millions of opinions out there as to the seriousness of this pandemic and the forever lasting effects of what our lives will look like in the future.“
In his report, published in the PGA newsletter Potato Minute, Hochstein went on to note that as the days go by, the Canadian political leaders continue to say that the Canadian food supply chain is safe, we will not run out of food. In reality, the vulnerability of this supply chain is being tested to its limits. "It is true that Canada is one of only a handful of countries that has a ‘net export’ of food and agricultural products, but the other side of the story, the side that is now being exposed, is that we are still highly dependent on one critical component of the supply chain…. people."
According to Hochstein, Canada has some of the most modern, up to date, processing facilities in the world. When these plants are shut down or operate at partial capacity, the food supply chain becomes affected, Hochstein says. When the grocery stores run low on food, the prices are artificially inflated because there is this perceived ‘shortage’ of food, and the consumer has to pay more. Once again, the producer is vilified as gouging the public, all the while being unable to sell their raw products.