The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the local and global food supply chains and is likely to continue to do so for the forseeable future, according to importers.
Global surges in demand for groceries, immigrant labour shortages on farms, social distancing in factories and the added complexity of global shipping are all taking their toll.
Initially, the biggest impact locally was the closure of restaurants as Cayman locked down, says Gina Peck, marketing supervisor at Progressive Distributors. A lot of produce destined for tables across the island was donated to Meals on Wheels and other charities in the early days of the pandemic.
There were opposite problems on the retail side, with additional demand for groceries – both in Cayman and the US – creating supply headaches for food producers and manufacturers.
Some companies, like Tropicana Orange…