Washington, D.C.—In response to a query from USDA regarding potential disruptions in the food supply chain, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) surveyed its 120 voting members for their concerns regarding supply chain disruptions. Some of the issues they noted:
  • Concerns regarding ingredients and packaging materials from China: Closed factories have caused delays, and while some factories are getting back up and running, several of CRN’s members anticipate long production and transportation delays.
  • India’s shutdown, too, is an issue for CRN’s members: Several of them import ingredients from India, and report issues with supply and availability of materials. These members anticipate disruptions and delays in transporting materials to the United States.
  • Members report difficulties importing ingredients from Australia and New Zealand—while the countries are not shut down, the distance and reduced availability of cargo flights and shipping vessels are raising concerns regarding transportation costs.
  • Transportation in general may be a problem; it’s impacted by staff shortages, less available freight capacity, and increased costs due to less supply.

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On top of this, CRN’s letter notes that there isincreaseddemand for supplements—for improved nutrition, for assistance with sleep and stress relief, and for immune support. The supply chains are not equipped to handle the surge in demand, particularly given the existing disruptions.

These issues and a spreadsheet detailing member concerns were noted in a letter to USDA. Steve Mister, President and CEO of CRN, concluded the letter: “We hope these insights help the Department of Agriculture to better understand the challenges faced by dietary supplement and functional food producers at this time and allow you to better fashion programs that address these needs.”