U.S. Agriculture Needs A ‘Fifth Season’

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index issued earlier today reported that while the CPI for all items for the 12-month period ending May 2020 increased 0.1 percent before seasonal adjustment, the food numbers tell a very different story. Total food index increased by 4.0 percent while the food at home index increased a whopping 4.8 percent.  

The food index rose 0.7 percent in May that followed a 1.5 percent increase in April, which was driven, mostly by a 3.7 percent rise for meats, poultry, fish and eggs. The beef index saw its largest monthly increase ever – a 10.8 percent increase; causing concern for many shoppers and retailers who are bracing themselves for the potential price increases that seem to be looming over the industry as food production struggles with plant closures, less output and the loss of farm labor; an experience most shoppers witnessed first hand as they saw empty supermarket shelves – everything from toilet paper to flour to produce.

It is the inefficiencies across the supply chain from farm to truck to packer to supermarket and foodservice that has fueled the burgeoning indoor farming industry, which in 2017 accounted for $106.6 billion and expected to reach $171.12 billion by 2026 growing at a CAGR of 5.4 percent during this period, according to the Worldwide Indoor Farming Market Report.

Read more at Forbes (Phil Lembert)

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