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Food security and disruptions of the global food supply chains during COVID-19: building smarter food supply chains for post COVID-19 era

Michael Omotayo Alabi (Institute for Innovation and Technology Management, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)
Ojelanki Ngwenyama (Institute for Innovation and Technology Management, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 15 March 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023

1089

Abstract

Purpose

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the fragility of the complex global food supply chains (GFSCs) which has drastically affected the essential flow of food from the farms and producers to the final consumers. The COVID-19 outbreak has served as a great lesson for the food businesses and companies to re-strategize toward the post-COVID-19 era. This paper examines the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on food security and global food supply chains using the two countries (Canada and the United States) in North America as the case studies and provides appropriate strategy or framework to build smarter and resilience food supply chains for post-COVID-19 era.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a general review of the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on food security and disruptions of the GFSCs. This paper conducted a comprehensive literature review to have a complete understanding of the study, identify the research problem and missing gaps in literature and to formulate appropriate research questions. This study uses two countries from North America (Canada and the US) as case studies by analyzing the available open data from Statistics Canada and some recent studies conducted on food insecurity in the US. Finally, based on the findings, a proposed approach or framework was presented.

Findings

The findings from this study establishes that COVID-19 pandemic has greater impacts on the food security and GFSC due to disruption of the food supply chain leading to increase food insecurity in Canada and the US. The findings clearly show how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the GFSC in the following ways – poor economy, shortage of farm worker, limitation to food accessibility, restriction in the transportation of farm commodities, changes in demand of consumers, shutdown of food production facilities, uncertainty of food quality and safety, food trade policies restriction, delays in transportation of food products, etc. The main findings of this study show that food and beverages sector needs to re-strategize, re-shape and re-design their food supply chains with post-COVID-19 resilience approach in mind. As a result, this study presents a proposed approach or framework to build a smarter and resilience GFSCs in the post-COVID-19 era. The findings in this study highlights the way the proposed framework provide solutions to the identified problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic in affecting the GFSC.

Originality/value

The contribution of this study towards the existing body of knowledge in food security and GFSC is in the form of a proposed approach or framework for building smarter and resilience GFSC that would assist the key players in the food industry to respond better and faster to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including post-COVID-19 era.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors do not have any acknowledgement session for this paper.

Citation

Alabi, M.O. and Ngwenyama, O. (2023), "Food security and disruptions of the global food supply chains during COVID-19: building smarter food supply chains for post COVID-19 era", British Food Journal, Vol. 125 No. 1, pp. 167-185. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-03-2021-0333

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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