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Fri Mar 20, 2020, 12:21 PM

Open Letter to Congressional Leadership: Secure the Food Supply Chain NOW

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Congressional Leaders:

If you thought plague was a threat to our people, wait until famine conditions manifest.

Which they will, unless you and other functional government leaders begin working NOW to secure the food supply chain.

Right now we're seeing the first wave of impact on our food supply chain as thoughtful citizens stock up for a few weeks, anticipating less access to foodstuffs and/or trying to minimize their need to leave home and expose themselves and others in food vendor settings- grocery stores, gas/convenience stores, restaurant drive-through and pickup locations.

Right now, everyone understands that of course, there will be empty shelves and re-stock waits for some items.

Shortly, however, people will begin to worry.

About the 3rd-4th time they make a foray and find that there are STILL no tinned beans on the shelves, worry will escalate to anxiety.

Before anxiety escalates to panic buying, hoarding, etc., and the effects of the stay-in, quarantine, lockdown on the workforce seriously impacts the food supply chain, YOU MUST ACT.

And you must COMMUNICATE.

TELL US how the raw food/ingredient production sources are going to be helped to safely maintain production.

TELL US how the processing/packaging industry is going to receive assistance and monitoring to ensure it continues its function.

TELL US how the transportation and supply chain is going to be kept safe and functioning.

TELL US how the availability outlets are going to be assisted in maintaining their stocks, safe handling, and suppying the public.

Do this NOW.

No one else will, alas.

Certainly not the morons in charge of the Administration, the USDA, etc.

By thinking ahead NOW, you can prevent an even worse threat to our population than the pandemic.

Please act.

urgently,
Bright

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Reply Open Letter to Congressional Leadership: Secure the Food Supply Chain NOW (Original post)
TygrBright Mar 2020 OP
jls4561 Mar 2020 #1
global1 Mar 2020 #2
uponit7771 Mar 2020 #3
matt819 Mar 2020 #4
TygrBright Mar 2020 #5
kentuck Mar 2020 #6

Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Fri Mar 20, 2020, 12:23 PM

1. And think about who's going to pick the crops when harvest season rolls around.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Fri Mar 20, 2020, 12:26 PM

2. This Is Not Trump's Style - He's A Crisis Manager....

He won't do anything until the panic sets in.

He doesn't do anything proactively.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Fri Mar 20, 2020, 12:27 PM

3. THIS !!!! THIS !!!! THIS !!!! THIS !!!! People will say you're being "lathered" by the reports but

... it sounds like you understand how supply chains work and where there could be points of failure in them that will take out all elasticity in the chain and could break it.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Fri Mar 20, 2020, 12:45 PM

4. One of the problems. . .

Bit of a rambling comment follows.

One of the problems is that all we have right now, I think, are anecdotal reports. I know there have been posts and photos here. I've posted about what I've found in my local stores. No toilet paper, paper towels, canned beans and vegetables, frozen fruits and vegetables, disinfectant wipes, rubbing alcohol, bread. Others are posting photos of entire aisles cleared out.

Now, today, I read somewhere (here on DU, somewhere else, e-mail?) an open letter from the CEO of Kraft/Heinz saying there's fundamentally no long-term shortage, that they are looking at additional suppliers, and they're working hard to get their products to the retailers. Another CEO letter came today from the head of one of my local supermarkets pretty much saying the same thing. That's all well and good, and I sort of believe it. But still the shelves are bare.

So all we are left with are anecdotes of shortages and promises that there are no shortages, and if there are they're working to sort things out. This is very frustrating. I just looked it up and there are more than 38,000 supermarkets in the US. They're under no obligation to report their shortages to any central location. Also, I don't know how wholesalers allocate their inventory. I mean, are high income zip codes given priority because they can move more product in such areas? What about military commissaries and exchanges and such? Are they running out of TP and canned goods? These are issues we have not really had to think about for a very long time (if at all, come to think of it). But I wonder if the pandemic modeling that has been done has taken food issues into account.

Bottom line, from my perspective, is that unless inventory is restocked relatively quickly and more frequently, at least for now, we're going to have more runs on products because we believe/know that they are going to be out of stuff pretty quickly again.

On the plus side, and I've mentioned this before, the stuff on the perimeters of my local grocery stores are mostly pretty well stocked: fresh produce, meat/fish, milk, dairy, and deli. Granted, the supply chain for refrigerated goods has to be different. But, on a macro level, no one is going to starve until "They" tell us we can't even go out to the grocery store. Yes, I know, this may be irrelevant to low income people for whom fresh food is something of a luxury.

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Response to matt819 (Reply #4)

Fri Mar 20, 2020, 02:27 PM

5. Exactly. It's analogous to bank managers shoveling out the cash to stop a run.

It starts with demonstrating the system can cope...

...while you're working vigorously behind the scenes to shore up the ability of the system to cope.

Confidence is a very real aspect of keeping systems working.

If Americans lose confidence in the food supply chain, we are fucked on a whole new level.

This is not something [Redacted] and Moscow Mitch and the merry band of incompetent GOP grifters can even conceptualize, with their laserlike focus on "how can I graft this?"

So Congressional leadership better step up, quickly.

adamantly,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Fri Mar 20, 2020, 02:42 PM

6. Good idea!

I agree.

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