Source: Ohio Farm Bureau, Previously published by Ohio Farmer on-line.
Sixty-five percent of those involved in Ohio’s food supply system have been negatively or very negatively impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, according to early results of a new survey by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation.
The statewide Farm, Food and Agribusiness COVID-19 Impact Survey, distributed by OFB and a number of other agriculture groups, collected data to pinpoint areas of concern for every aspect of agriculture, including producers, retailers and food processors. With more than 1,000 surveys returned, statistics show:
* Nearly half (45%) of respondents have had their market distribution channels disrupted.
* Twenty-nine percent of those taking part in the survey have cash flow issues.
* Almost 15% of people polled cannot access the sanitation and protective equipment items required to operate (masks, sanitizers, etc.)
“This is a real-time snapshot of what the state’s agriculture community is dealing with as we work through the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak,” says Adam Sharp, OFB executive vice president. “Even though everyone along the food supply chain is essential, and the work continues from the farm to the grocery store, there is still more work to do to make sure we keep the system moving in the right direction.”
From the onset of the pandemic, Farm Bureau has been striving to deliver the most up-to-date information from the state and national levels to help its members navigate through these challenging times, according to Sharp. OFB helps this survey helps further those efforts.
“The information we are receiving from this survey is going to help us on two fronts,” says Yvonne Lesicko, OFB vice president of public policy. “We are lobbying hard to make sure USDA is allocating funds where they are needed the most across the industry, and we are trying to find solutions where we can for market disruptions.”
Results of the survey will be shared across Ohio’s food sector to allow commodity groups and organizations to work with their members directly to discuss the COVID-19 challenges being experienced in their part of the industry.
For more detailed results of the survey, visit ofbf.org.