The Packer’s Tom Karst talks on March 26 with Jason Resnick, vice president and general counsel for Western Growers, about the current foodservice crisis tied to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
“Roughly half of the produce that’s grown in the United States is dedicated to foodservice and, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many of those foodservice contracts whether it be with restaurants, hotels, cafeterias or dormitories, have dried up since people are not eating food in restaurants, hotels and other gathering spaces,” Resnick said.
“So while the supermarket retail supply side has been doing okay, the (damage) to foodservice has been devastating,” he said.
Resnick talked about the important role the Perishables Agricultural Commodities Act trust for produce suppliers, and the concern that many foodservice distributors may go out of business with no money to pay suppliers, even with PACA protection.
“We are asking the federal government and USDA to insert language in the stimulus package to protect farmers and to protect those PACA rights and for the federal government to step in to protect any legitimate PACA claim to the extent it’s not satisfied through the bankruptcy proceeding,” he said.