Canadian firm releases study on country’s pandemic purchasing habists


Coronavirus challenges have strained consumer habits and farm profits in Canada and one study has taken a deep dive into supply chain disruptions in sectors like agriculture.

“First couple of weeks of the pandemic we all went out to stock up our pantries, and that was the remarkable moment when grocery stores essentially emptied out their inventory,” Dr. Evan Fraser, Arrell Food Institute Director, said, “None of us had experienced food shortages on that scale before, and then millions of Canadians had seen their incomes go down. So, we’re seeing a food-insecurity problem linked with lost wages.”

Social distancing restrictions forced Canadian consumers to shift spending habits, which created less demand for certain restaurants staples.

“We’ve got an industry which is used to selling French fries to restaurants that is no longer doing that, and so, there’s a major reorganization of the supply chain,” Fraser said.

While some distribution can adapt quickly, the study recommends Canadian meat companies explore smaller scale processing plants. According to Fraser, it has been undeniable that regional meat packing has essentially stopped in favor of giant factories.

“Maybe one of the lessons of COVID is that we need to go back to smaller, more regional packing, and maybe that would create a little bit more resilience,” he said.

Experts say that Canada’s meat sector should invest in regional infrastructure to protect against future disruptions.

For more information or to participate in the “Supply Chain Study,” click HERE.