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March 20, 2020 

This has been a remarkable week of unprecedented challenges and issues. 

We trust that this daily communication has been of value to you. We’re grateful for everyone who has been reaching out, coordinating efforts and connecting dots to help ensure that the blueberry industry is able to successfully navigate through this time of uncertainty. 

Please keep in touch and invite others to be a part of this specific blueberry industry communication. Share this email and invite others to subscribe.
Fresh Thoughts: We’re Listening, Sharing and Taking Action

Check out this week’s “Fresh Thoughts” from NABC President Kasey Cronquist. 

Food and Farm Aid: Bill Approved to Funnel $1.2 Billion to Low-Income Americans in Nutrition Assistance

On Wednesday, the Senate passed a multi-billion dollar emergency package that provides more than $1.2 billion in nutrition assistance to Americans to purchase or receive approved foods, including blueberries. The package includes $500 million for pregnant women, infants and children under the WIC program; $250 million to support home delivered and prepackaged meals to millions of seniors; and $400 million for USDA to buy commodities and distribute to food banks. Another stimulus package is expected – with total aid estimated to pass $1 trillion.  

Food Safety and Supply: FDA Food Safety Briefing Highlights

The FDA held a food safety and supply briefing this week regarding current activities, responding to stakeholders’ concerns and highlighting important FDA resources in response to the outbreak. 

Here are some highlights from that briefing courtesy of our crisis communications team at FleishmanHillard:
  • There are no food shortages and the food supply remains safe.
  • There is no evidence of food and packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. 
  • The FDA will provide max flexibility to ensure a safe, accessible food supply.
  • Domestic inspections will focus resources on “mission critical” inspections. Foreign inspections are postponed at this time. 
  •  There are multiple coordinated efforts to protect safety of workers and public health underway. 
  • Food-borne exposure is not known to be a route of transmission.
Also,the FDA has a new set of FAQs posted at

Consumer Marketing: Consumer Changes in 7 Days 

Everyone has felt (and likely seen) the lifestyle and consumer changes during this rollercoaster of a week. SRG, NABC’s foodservice agency, created a COVID-19 consumer attitude tracker that identifies changes in consumer behavior over the last seven days as the coronavirus response unfolded. What a difference a week makes.   

COVID-19 Coverage Roundup 

Here’s today’s roundup from our crisis communication agency, FleishmanHillard.

Food & Agriculture COVID-19 Monitoring 
America has a Lot of Food. Moving it During Coronavirus is Hard. The Wall Street Journal
Analysis: Shutdown of Local Food Markets may Cost Nearly $700 Million in Sales Agri Pulse
Are Food Deliveries and Groceries Safe During Coronavirus Pandemic? Yes, Experts Say CNN
Are Grocery Employees Emergency Workers Progressive Grocer
Brookshire Grocery Co. Giving 5% Discounts to Seniors Grocery Business
Coronavirus and Poverty: A Mother Skips Meals So Her Children Can Eat The New York Times
Coronavirus Outbreak is not Slowing Audits of California’s Leafy Greens Food Safety News
Coronavirus Updates: What Restaurants Need to Know QSR
Coronavirus-era Food Supply: America has a Lot. Moving it is Tricky The Wall Street Journal
COVID-19 Coverage: Planning for Better Times Produce News
COVID-19 Makes a Punishing Case for Automation in Grocery Grocery Business
COVID-19: Mealkit Brands See Sharp Increase in Demand, Although Longer-term Impact Harder to Predict Food Navigator
COVID-19’s Impact on the Largest School Districts in the Country Food Management
Darden Restaurants embraces a survival mentality Food Business News
Dig Food Group Launches Buy a Bowl, Give a Bowl Program to Help Feed Those in Need Forbes
Egg prices sharply higher as consumers stock up during COVID-19 homing Food Business News
Even Global Coffee Traders Brace for Supply Disruptions Amid Global Transport Woes Bloomberg
FDA Answers Food Safety Questions Regarding Covid-19 The Packer
Food Delivery Amid Coronavirus: Here’s how to Protect Your Dinner Forbes
Foodservice Sector Staggered by Coronavirus Restrictions The Packer
Grocery Shopping During the Coronavirus: Wash Your Hands, Keep Your Distance and Limit Trips The Washington Post
High-end Restaurants Aren't Taking Reservations but they are Taking Orders CNN
Homeland Security Deems Agriculture as ‘Critical Infrastructure’ Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Agri Pulse
How Is COVID-19 Affecting Shopping Behaviors? Grocery Business
How Restaurants are Stepping Up to Help Their Communities During the Coronavirus Pandemic, from Providing Toilet Paper to Meal Kits Restaurant Hospitality
How Revolution Foods is Feeding Students as Schools Close Amid Coronavirus Pandemic Forbes
Indiana Ag Secretary, Director Respond to COVID-19 Issues Farm Progress
Industry Reaches Out to Federal Government for Help Grocery Business
Ingredient Sourcing in a COVID-19 World Bakery and Snacks
Kenya Orders Early Closure of Bars in Measures Against Virus Bloomberg
Labor: The Topic That Keeps Farmers Up at Night Farm Journal's Pork
Last Orders Loom as London's Deserted Pubs Cry Out for Government Action Reuters
London Pubs, Restaurants, Cinemas Set to be Told to Close Bloomberg
Many Millennials Remain Unconcerned About Coronavirus — Still Socializing, Dining Out, Dating Forbes
Mobile Checkout as a Social Distancer? Grocery Business
New Source to Find COVID-19 Information Related to Agriculture Farm Progress
OECD report shows coronavirus impact on economy Meat + Poultry
Oregon Farm Bureau Urges Ag Exclusions from Possible Shelter-in-place Order Capital Press
President Told Consumer Friendly M-COOL Would Help Cattlemen Recover from Coronavirus Food Safety News
Raley’s Simplifies Shopping for Seniors Grocery Business
Restaurant Industry Warns of $225B in Potential Losses AgriPulse
Restaurants Helping Their Communities During Coronavirus Pandemic Nation's Restaurant News
Rouses Market to Offer Meals From Local Restaurants Grocery Business
Sedano’s, Local Restaurants Work Together to Keep Staff Employed Grocery Business
Sen. Rounds Announces Plan to Help Producers with Cattle Market Crisis Drovers
Swiss Farm Fresh Delivery Service Thrives in Coronavirus Era Reuters
The Fight to Keep Farmers’ Markets Open During Coronavirus Civil Eats
There’s “No Need to Hoard,” Grocery Store CEO Says Marketplace
There's Plenty of Food in the World, Just not Where it's Needed Bloomberg
To Stay Afloat, the Restaurant Business Clings to Contactless Delivery The New York Times
UK Eases Competition Law so Supermarkets can Co-operate in Crisis Reuters
UK Pubs Operator Wetherspoon Says in Favour of Staying Open Despite Virus Reuters
UK's Asda Plans to Hire 5,000 Temporary Workers to get Through Coronavirus Reuters
USDA Now Undecided on Challenging Judge’s Food Stamps Ruling The Washington Post
USDA, Labor Dept. Ensuring There's Enough Foreign Ag Labor Western Farm Press
Visits to Quick-service Restaurants Up 11% Nationally Since COVID-19 Outbreak Nation's Restaurant News
Walmart to Pay $550 Million in Staff Bonuses, Hire 150,000 Temporary Workers The Wall Street Journal
Walmart, Dollar Tree and 7-Eleven Want to Hire Nearly 200,000 Workers as the Coronavirus CNN
Want to Sell Your Wine? Buy a Special Bottle? Have a Fire Sale? You Need to Call an Expert Forbes
Wetherspoon Cancels Dividend, Warns on Profit Due to Coronavirus Reuters
What Farmers Need to Know About Covid-19 Restaurant Hospitality
What Third-party Delivery Marketplaces are Doing, and not Doing, for Restaurants During the Coronavirus Pandemic Restaurant Hospitality
What will Happen to the Produce Industry After Coronavirus Shut Down Visa Processing? Food Dive
Whole Food's New York Employee Tests Positive for Coronavirus
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