Food Supply Chains and COVID-19 by Mary Riker

Screenshot of Infographic from Video

COURSE: Agriculture and Land Use, Geography 309

MEDIUM: Video/Film and Infographic

This video on three major food supply chains impacted by COVID-19 highlights the basics of food supply chains on the whole, then dives into the details of the pandemic’s impact on dairy, beef, and corn. It includes an infographic-like format and shows how each supply chain changes in response to impacts felt in other parts of the chain. Background research provided statistics used in the video and these enhance the impacts felt in each supply chain due to the pandemic. Finally, the video rounds out with the conclusion that those involved in food systems, supply chain development and management, and agribusiness should examine what went wrong in their supply chain and improve stability for future unexpected yet extreme events.

I created this video/infographic project for the semester-long Food Sustainability Project that is a part of the course Agriculture and Land Use (Geography 309). I chose to study food supply chains because I did not know much about them prior to this project, but I know they are incredibly important for the ways in which we receive our food. I also wanted to learn more about what happened to specific supply chains during March and April of 2020 because I remember walking into a grocery store and seeing the limits of two packages of meat per customer and feeling quite shocked by it. I also enjoy thinking about sustainability and the improvement of systems’ sustainability because I think it is important for the future. In this case, sustainability means understanding the fragility of the food chains I looked at, and also understanding the food waste associated with them. It was both a literal and conceptual thought on sustainability. I would like to add that the video initially walks through each major player in a food supply chain. It goes on to investigate specific links in each supply chain that were weakened or failed in the early months of the pandemic and the causes and effects of those impacts. To me, understanding each member of the food supply chain before jumping into the analysis was important to include because I myself did not know much about it before doing some research on the topic.