World's Fresh Fruit Supply During Coronavirus Crisis
At seven months into 2020 and in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, as humankind, we continue to reconfigure our lives. The measures to stop the spread of the virus crippled the world economy. Most industries remain inactive as we develop safety protocols to resume activities.
As of today, we are fortunate to have available food at most supermarkets around the country, but that situation can change at any moment.
Various factors are putting a strain on the world’s fresh fruit supply chain. The first problem is that means of transportation are extremely restricted. Most farmers worldwide are struggling with the current situation due to the pandemic; they depend on having cash to run their businesses, but the pandemic has halted their income.
Improving storage and enhancing conservation methods such as ozone sanitation, can result in a decrease in the losses of fresh products.
This is important to consider because, the lack of fresh products could result in a health issue. As we all know, a well-balanced diet that contains all the nutrients our body needs to stay healthy or fight off infection is paramount in facing this pandemic.
On-site temperature measurement, use of protective gear, and coronavirus testing are some of the actions to follow to protect these essential workers and keep the food production chain active.
The European Union is an example of the extraordinary measures taken around the world to protect the agricultural market. As stated in the Agrifish Council meeting from May 13th of this year, the main actions taken by Europe are:
- - Private storage aid for the dairy and the meat sectors;
- - Much greater flexibility in the operational programs, such as fruits vegetables and wine, to allow more spending;
- - Allowing farmers to take joint action in derogation from the competition rules in the sectors of milk, potatoes, and flower;
- - Rural development support.
The truth is that all industries are learning how to cope in real-time. But while we go through the many learning curves from this pandemic, there is an issue that can't wait: Food safety, ripening.
Harvests are stuck everywhere in the world, and while we find solutions to put them to good use they are spoiling. Fresh fruits are organic matter and there is a limited time window between harvesting and delivering to the consumer.
Fresh fruits in storage are vulnerable to pests, mold, extreme temperatures, among others, this accelerates their decomposition and reduces their shelf life.
Farmers must turn to innovative, high-tech solutions to protect their crops in storage. Ozone sanitization is an ideal method to enhances food safety, maintain post-harvest quality.
This technology is endorsed by the FDA as one of the most powerful methods to disinfect fresh fruits, and a very efficient method to prologue fruit’s shelf life.
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