Global food shortages: Here's why grocery stores don't have what you want - CNN

Can't find what you want in the grocery store? Here's why

Updated 3:47 PM ET, Thu April 2, 2020

London (CNN Business)The coronavirus pandemic has delivered a shock to tens of millions of people in rich countries around the world: Suddenly, they can't buy the food they want, when they want.

Food supply chains in developed economies are showing increased signs of strain as nationwide lockdowns designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus heap pressure on systems that had very little slack to begin with. The result is empty store shelves, and panicked buyers.
The transportation links that move food around the globe are being tested in unprecedented ways. Shipowners are struggling to change crews and move goods between ports. Airlines have grounded thousands of planes, slashing air freight capacity.
Travel restrictions also are clogging up road networks and making it difficult for farm workers to get where they are needed. And at the end of food supply chains, supermarkets that have come to rely on just-in-time deliveries have been upset by huge demand and panic buying.
Global stocks of staple commodities such as wheat, corn and rice are at healthy levels, said Maximo Torero Cullen, chief economist at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. But logistics bottlenecks need to be identified and resolved quickly to ensure goods can get to where they are needed, and protectionist policies avoided, he added.