Players in the food industry say that food manufacturers are facing several constraints including inflationary constraints, shipping backlogs, labor shortages, and delays in obtaining input products like ingredients and packaging.
Due to the current climate in the industry, Canadian food manufacturers are starting to cut capacity and realign focus on key food products.
Michael Graydon says that some food manufacturers are focusing on products with the highest demand and that others are cutting capacity due to a labor shortage.
The U.S. and Canada both have cross-border trucking policies that may further exacerbate food product availability.
On January 15, 2022, the Canadian government implemented a vaccine mandate for cross-border truck drivers.
The policy requires cross-border Canadian truckers to be vaccinated or face testing and quarantine requirements. Foreign truckers are required to be vaccinated or else they will be turned away from entering Canada.
Prior to January 15, 2022, trucking was considered essential and truckers were exempt from testing and two-week quarantine requirements.
Similarly, the U.S. has a vaccine mandate for truckers entering its borders coming into effect on January 22, 2022.
U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, and people under the age of 17 will be exempt from the U.S. policy coming into effect on January 22, 2022.
The January 22, 2022 mandate in the U.S. will not only affect foreign truckers but also all foreign travelers.
One of Canada’s leading food industry researchers, Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, says that people should “expect more empty shelves and grocery stores temporarily closing for a while.”
Dr. Charlebois also believes this could be an issue Canada faces “for a while”.