11/01/2022 | Australia

Australia faces shortages

Strict isolation rules are disrupting the organisation of the food industry, transport and distribution, according to the Australian Fresh Produce Alliance (AFPA), which is warning of a possible shortage.
Currently in Australia, all close contacts of a positive COVID case must remain isolated for seven days, even if they have a negative test. The entire food supply chain is facing a labour shortage due to the COVID cases and isolation requirements.
The Australian Fresh Produce Alliance (AFPA) is calling on all Australian state governments to immediately change the isolation requirements for workers in the food industry, transport and distribution. In order to ensure that the entire supply chain can deliver food to Australians.
"Some companies are seeing their workforce halved in one day. People are not coming forward because they have COVID or are close contacts of a COVID case. This is affecting the harvesting, packing, transport and distribution of fruit and vegetables," said Michael Rogers, CEO of AFPA.
"Without change, it will become increasingly difficult to provide food over the next 15 days. We need all governments to consider measures to enable essential food, transport and distribution workers who do not have COVID to return to work as quickly as possible," said Rogers. 
According to the country's largest food retailers, product availability will be reduced over the next few weeks due to the labour shortage created by the increase in COVID cases and the associated isolation requirements.
source : freshproduce.org.au
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