Jan 12, 2022 1 min, 3 secs

The recent spread of the omicron variant among supply chain workers, sour weather and even a recall of bagged salads and vegetables have caused Americans to once again find barren shelves at supermarkets or retail stores. .

While industry leaders hope this latest supply chain foul-up will be a short-term frustration, it comes amid the ongoing challenges they’ve faced during the pandemic: shipping delays, congestion at ports, labor shortages and more. .

Doug Baker, vice president of industry relations for the Food Marketing Institute, a trade group, said the latest Covid-19 variant and the bad stretch of winter weather have made the supply chain situation worse.

Rain and tornadoes in the spring followed by an active hurricane season could have a heavy effect on the country’s supply chain, Baker noted, and the industry is still contending with how best to make itself attractive to workers. .

As these jobs remain unfilled and the omicron variant is able to find a foothold among the largely vaccinated meatpacking workforce, the labor shortages are further exacerbated, said Mark Lauritsen, international vice president for meatpacking at the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

The items are in the pipeline, Baker said, it’s just taking them a little longer to get past the pandemic’s latest hurdles

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