‘Perfect Storm’ Behind Bare Grocery Store Shelves: Agribusiness Researcher

Dr. Simon Somogyi

Amid the current food shortages, don’t panic buy at the grocery store and don’t blame the shortages on the trucker vaccine mandate alone.

That’s the advice of University of Guelph agribusiness researcher Dr. Simon Somogyi, who says a few factors have come together to create the “perfect storm” that has resulted in Canadians finding bare shelves at the grocery store.

“The trucker vaccine mandate is just compounding it,” said Somogyi.

Worker absenteeism across the food supply chain is one reason for the shortages. Another is simply the season. Winter storms slow down store deliveries, and at this time of year, most fruits and vegetables in Canadian stores come from South America and the U.S.

In a recent interview with CBC’s The National, Somogyi said he doesn’t think we’re going to be running out of food at grocery stores.

There’s still plenty of food available, even though certain products or brands may be in short supply at stores. He also cautioned that panic buying will only make the situation worse.

Speaking to CBC Business, he said Canada’s food supply chain is always a delicate balancing act, as a relatively short growing season coupled with vast distances makes distributing supplies tricky even under ideal circumstances.

Somogyi holds the Arrell Chair in the Business of Food and is a professor in the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management. He studies agri-food value chain analysis and management, international market development and food consumer behaviour.

He is available for interviews.

Contact:

Dr. Simon Somogyi
ssomogyi@uoguelph.ca