Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Will there be enough food supply available during a pandemic?

Gloria Galloway from The Globe and Mail says food industry reps and government are meeting this week to talk about ways of getting food to your table in the event of a pandemic.

Much focus around pandemic preparedness has been on the health sector, while grocery store shelves could be left empty when the pandemic hits. Worst case scenarios predict that the pandemic can take out a third of the work force. Bear in mind that farmers, food producers and distributors are not immune against the disease.

It is suggested government would have little control over food distribution during a pandemic because the responsibility for the supply chain lies in the hands of private industry. Nick Jennery, CEO of the Canada Council of Grocery Distributors says food producers and suppliers have started to work on pandemic preparedness two years ago. "Being prepared for a crisis, whether it's pandemic or otherwise, is part of the business we're in" Mr. Jennery said in an interview with The Globe and Mail on Monday.

According to Galloway, Agriculture Canada asked industry to come up with a list of 20 non-perishable food products that could continue to be produced here in Canada in the event of a crisis.

For additional information on Pandemic preparedness from a business continuity perspective, please feel free to contact Pitsel & Associates Ltd. Calgary, Alberta, (403) 245-0550. “The time to plan is when you have time to plan.”

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