The coronavirus pandemic gave a tough time to the grocery stores and supermarkets while keeping up with the stocks. Due to more people falling sick companies were facing a shortage of workers that led to stressed food supply chains. The arrival of the omicron variant which is highly contagious made things worse. Every part of the food system is facing a shortage and the supermarkets are struggling to keep the food fully stocked. From farms to manufacturers and the distributors everyone is facing a crisis and the omicron variant has taken it to another level.
The new variant is spreading fast across the globe and in the United States while raising health concerns that many had thought that vaccines would help. Once again the schools and daycare centres are facing closures and more Americans are now away from work. The situation is expected to fuel the wage increase and price surges for the consumers along with 2020-style food outages. Bindiya Vakil, the chief executive officer of supply-chain consultant Resilinc Corp said that they are already noticing bare shelves and the labor issues due to the omicron is going to make things worse.
Grand Rapids, is a Michigan based grocery distributor and store operator SpartanNach Cois facing the grunt as the number of infections triple in recent times. Nearly one percent of its 18,000-person workforce is reportedly infected. The company is currently able to fulfill orders but with delays. The employees who are currently working are spending extra hours at work.
Tony Sarsam, the CEO in an interview said that it is tough as they are asking people to work overtime. He added that they are also facing problems while getting supplies from food manufacturers, especially the processed items like soup and cereal. Food inspectors are also calling in sick. While the Delta variant did not have a big impact, but the omicron variant is taking a toll.
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