Pandemic Farming: Apples and Oranges

How the Coronavirus has hit farmers and food around the world

Pandemic Farming: Apples and Oranges Are there enough workers to ensure crops are harvested and food makes it to the table? This report investigates how the coronavirus pandemic is disrupting food production in Australia, the UK, and Germany.
The covid-19 pandemic has disrupted countless lives globally. In Europe, farm workers are in short supply due to restrictions on movement. All seasonal workers were banned from entering Germany, which relies heavily on Eastern European labour for crop harvesting. 'Normally we have 350 seasonal workers, but this year we are missing 200', explains one German farmer. The pandemic is also impacting on farmers in Australia. As infection swept across the nation, paranoia about the virus being spread by foreign backpackers grew, with many being forced to leave the farms where they were working. 'A few farmers told us they only want local people', recounts one backpacker. At the same time, global freight and supply lines have been disrupted. 'If we don't export into our normal markets it'll be a disaster', says one Australian farmer. Meanwhile, the World Food Programme predicts that 265 million people could be pushed to acute food insecurity because of coronavirus. 'People living in countries where food insecurity is already a problem are going to be the big victims of covid', says Professor Alana Mann of the University of Sydney's Environment Institute.

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