FoodDrink Europe, the European employers in the food industry, has issued an alert to Brussels about the risk of shortages if the borders are closed. “As a result of the important and necessary emergency measures adopted by the Member States of the European Union, there are more and more difficulties in commercial operations,” he assures this organization.
As he says, “Delays and disruptions have been observed at the borders of the countries for the delivery of certain agricultural and manufactured products, as well as packaging materials” and, furthermore, “the movement of workers is also a concern, particularly due to certain border closings and travel restrictions, as well as possible labor shortages, as staff follow national movement restrictions to mitigate the crisis. ”
Problems at the borders The European food business recalls that “since the agri-food supply chain is highly integrated and operates across borders, any supply bloc and workers will inevitably disrupt the business and our ability to provide food for all will depend on the preservation of the single market. “
In view of all this, it urges the European Commission “to collaborate with us and do everything in its power – with a coherent and clear strategy – to guarantee an uninterrupted flow of agricultural products, food and beverages and packaging materials (for for example, through green lanes), as well as solutions to prevent and manage labor shortages, so that the food supply chain can function effectively. “
Industry redoubles efforts
Mauricio Garcia Quevedo, general director of the Spanish employers’ association Fiab, the Federation of Food and Beverage Industries, explains for his part that “all companies and workers in the food and beverage industry are redoubling their efforts these days to maintain the flow of food and beverages within the difficulties of the moment to guarantee their supply together with the rest of the links in the chain: producers, transporters and distribution “.
Garcia Quevedo recalls that “from Fiab we are in permanent contact with the Government to resolve any incident and ensure the supply of food and beverages, and companies are applying the necessary protocols based on the recommendation of the health authorities for the safe management of jobs job”.
Everything indicates, however, that the risk of food shortages in is lower because, compared to what happens in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, which depends up to 80% of its imports for food, here it is the other way around. .
Supply in Mercamadrid
According to a study published by Mercamadrid in 2019, the Spanish capital consumes 2.43 million tons of fresh food per year, of which 1.88 million tons are produced within Spain (77% of the total).
The main supplying communities are Andalusia, the Valencian Community and the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, which provide the capital with some of the fresh foods most in demand by the population, such as oranges (126,837 tons), tomatoes (105,577 tons), lettuces (32,381 tons), peppers (28,874 tons) or melons (22,627 tons). The main countries that export fresh food to the Spanish capital are in Europe and Latin America, with products such as potatoes, kiwi, beef, bananas, grapes, avocados, and mangoes.
The Spanish food industry, in any case, is working at full capacity to be able to supply supermarkets, which have also taken measures on their part, limiting capacity and restricting opening hours.