Whether it's fruit pickers, slaughterhouse workers, truckers, warehouse operators, chefs or waiters, the global food ecosystem is buckling due to a shortage of staff
Across the world, a dearth of workers is shaking up food supply chains. In Vietnam, the army is assisting with the rice harvest. In the United Kingdom, farmers are dumping milk because there are no truckers to collect it. Brazil’s robusta coffee beans took 120 days to reap this year, rather than the usual 90, while American meatpackers are trying to lure new employees with Apple Watches and fast-food chains raise the prices of burgers and burritos.
Supplies are being hit and some employers are forced to raise wages at a double-digit pace. That’s threatening to push food prices — already heated by soaring commodities and freight costs — even higher. Prices in August were up 33 per cent from the same month last year, according to an index compiled by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.