Image Source: USA Today
Every week we track the business, tech and investment trends in CPG, retail, restaurants, agriculture, cooking and health, so you don’t have to. Here are some of this week’s top headlines.
Meat plants, farms, warehouses and packaging factories across the globe are reporting early positive cases of coronavirus that raise alarm over production disruptions. The infections speak to a growing threat to the world’s food supplies.
Meanwhile, the pandemic could lead to a growth of online grocery sales over the long term. Nearly one-third of US households have used online grocery services over the past month. Workers at big retailers have voiced concerns over their safety. Whole Foods and Instacart employees launched nationwide protests this week demanding for more sick pay and protections for those working through the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put more than 10 million independent restaurant workers at risk of losing their jobs for good. Across sectors, businesses are being forced to pivot their business models as consumers go on lockdown and change their buying habits. This round-up features many of the ways the pandemic is impacting all parts of the food industry.
In an effort to do our part and support the community we love so dearly, we have compiled a list of resources and organizations that are providing support to those in need. We are also offering free job postings to anyone who is looking to employ people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We need your support as well. Producing our newsletter takes a lot of time and resources, and we need to change our business model to keep it going. To date, we’ve funded our work through our events, sponsorships and consulting, which are all on hold due to the pandemic. If you find our newsletter to be a valuable resource, we hope you will consider making a one time or monthly contribution, so we can keep the newsletter going and free for those who can not afford a subscription fee. Whether it’s $5 or $500 every bit helps and shows us that you value our work. Not able to contribute right now? You can help by sharing our newsletter with friends and colleagues.
Check out our weekly round-up of last week’s top food startup, tech and innovation news below or peruse the full newsletter here.
In all likelihood, the number of cases will keep going up at meat plants, farms, warehouses and packaging factories across the globe. The infections speak to a growing threat to the world’s food supplies.
Forty million, 31% of US households, have used online grocery services like home delivery and pickup over the past month. This is more than double the amount of monthly users since August 2019.
They’re demanding more sick pay and protections for grocery store employees working through the pandemic.
Blue Apron and HelloFresh have seen surges in demand and investor interest over the last few weeks, as home cooks avoid grocery stores.
The deal isn’t good enough for small business owners or millions of service workers. There’s some hope to be found in the newly established loan program, but it’s not enough.
Restricted visa services, quickly evolving regulations and increased border controls risk wider labor shortages in the US produce industry that may leave grocery stores scrambling for fruits and vegetables.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the grocery delivery company has refused to offer its 175,000 gig workers basic protections like hazard pay, hand sanitizer and paid leave for those with pre-existing health conditions.
The unnamed chain is distinct from the company’s Whole Foods business and cashierless convenience stores.
DoorDash is expanding beyond food to deliver household essentials from convenient stores across the US.
As the numbers of unemployed and needy rise, many more people are seeking food relief.
Organizations across the food system are rushing to the defense of restaurants, service workers and people who are food insecure. Food Tank is keeping a running list of 40+ groups you can support with money, donated food or volunteer time no matter where you live.
Many gardeners are beginning to see food production as a collective effort—one that has the potential to respond to historical inequities and re-frame yesterday’s Victory Garden in the vein of today’s food justice movements.