Expert Pitch

Coronavirus to disrupt grocery supply chains, price stability

Cornell University
2-Mar-2020 10:45 AM EST, by Cornell University

CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE March 2, 2020 Coronavirus to disrupt grocery supply chains, price stability As the U.S. braces for a likely rise in coronavirus cases this week, experts warn that access to health resources and equipment will play a crucial role. On one hand, authorities are discouraging consumers from engaging in panic-buying. On the other, companies – such as Amazon – are enforcing fair pricing policies to prevent price gouging for the most sought-after items. Dana Radcliffe, senior lecturer in business ethics at Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business, studies ethical issues in business, politics, and public policy. He says that in times of civil emergency, such as a pandemic, those who jack up prices to maximize profits are exploiting their fellow citizens. Bio: Radcliffe says: “Often, in a civil emergency such as a hurricane or a pandemic, sellers of urgently-sought products sharply raise the prices, prompting accusations of ‘price-gouging.’ The reason so many people are outraged by such behavior is that they feel the vendors are taking unfair advantage of people in dire need. “Defenders of such increases claim that the drastically higher prices simply reflect market conditions – the intersection of supply and demand. The problem, however, is that, in emergencies where critical supplies are scarce, the conditions of a ‘free and fair market’ don’t exist – since the buyers don't have options. They cannot simply buy at lower prices from competing suppliers. Rather, the sellers are in the position of monopolists who can demand whatever price they want because their customers have no alternatives. It’s such exploitation of fellow citizens’ vulnerability that makes price-gouging unfair – and, frankly, unpatriotic.” - Elena Belavina, associate professor of applied economics at Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business, studies grocery retail and supply chains. She says that there are three potential effects of Covid-19 on grocery supply chains. Bio: Belavina says: “The effects due to imported grocery items will vary by kind of products. We expect significant constraints on supply of products from affected regions (China, Korea, Japan and parts of Europe). Consumer packaged goods, frozen meat and fish have the most far-flung supply chains and are probably most at risk of disruption. On the other hand, fruit and vegetable supply chains are largely American and mostly span areas that are, so far, less affected by the virus. If the virus is uncontained, over the long run, there might be constraints on farm inputs. But that seems unlikely based on what we have seen in terms of the containment efforts in China. “So far, there are no U.S. internal transportation restrictions and we don’t expect them. But if things get there, we can expect significant disruption of grocery supplies. Particularly fresh fruit and vegetables supplies to the Northeast, might be severely disrupted. “At this point, the biggest risks and disruptions will likely come due to consumer hoarding and panic buying. Modern supply chains are lean and efficient, which is great in regular times, but they have surprisingly little slack to deal with panic buying. We have already seen the effects in terms of protective gear, hand sanitizers, etc. There is no reason for anyone to hoard other groceries, but if customers do that, this might end up being the most significant impact of the virus for most consumers. Packaged foods, dry goods, etc., are the most likely items to be affected." For interviews contact: Rebecca Valli office: 607-255-6035 cell: 607-793-1025


Filters close

Showing results

1120 of 2916
Released: 13-Aug-2020 1:05 PM EDT
Additive Manufacturing for COVID-19
Materials Research Society (MRS)

A new Prospective article—Additive Manufacturing for COVID-19: Devices, Materials, Prospects and Challenges—published in MRS Communications, looks at these critical supply issues and provides an overview of 3D printing and how coupling the tools in additive manufacturing (AM) and advanced materials has provided a viable alternative for rapid production and distribution of PPEs and medical devices.

Newswise: Busting Up the Infection Cycle of Hepatitis B
Released: 13-Aug-2020 12:50 PM EDT
Busting Up the Infection Cycle of Hepatitis B
University of Delaware

Researchers at the University of Delaware have gained new understanding of the virus that causes hepatitis B and the “spiky ball” that encloses the virus’s genetic blueprint. They examined how the capsid—a protein shell that protects the blueprint and also drives the delivery of it to infect a host cell—assembles itself. Scientists believe that the capsid is an important target in developing drugs to treat hepatitis B, a life-threatening and incurable infection that afflicts more than 250 million people worldwide.

Newswise: 240097_web.jpg
Released: 13-Aug-2020 12:05 PM EDT
Stay-at-home orders significantly associated with reduced spread of COVID-19, study finds
Brown University

Across the globe, COVID-19 has infected more than 18 million people to date and has killed hundreds of thousands -- and the United States has been hit especially hard.

Released: 13-Aug-2020 11:45 AM EDT
COVID-19 Symptom Tracker Ensures Privacy During Isolation
Georgetown University Medical Center

An online COVID-19 symptom tracking tool developed by researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center ensures a person’s confidentiality while being able to actively monitor their symptoms. The tool is not proprietary and can be used by entities that are not able to develop their own tracking systems.

Newswise: Support for telehealth and mobile health monitoring rises since COVID, study says
Released: 13-Aug-2020 11:25 AM EDT
Support for telehealth and mobile health monitoring rises since COVID, study says
University of Alabama Huntsville

Support for telehealth and mobile health monitoring has risen among healthcare workers and consumers since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study. Dr. Emil Jovanov, a pioneer in the wearable health monitoring field from The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), participated and was a coauthor.

Newswise: Americans actively engaging in collectivism as financial buoy, experts say
Released: 13-Aug-2020 11:25 AM EDT
Americans actively engaging in collectivism as financial buoy, experts say
University of Notre Dame

Karen Richman, University of Notre Dame director of undergraduate studies at the Institute for Latino Studies, and her colleague, found that many people in the U.S. are relying on informal networks of family and friends to stay afloat in a recent study.

Newswise: 240116_web.jpg
Released: 13-Aug-2020 11:20 AM EDT
Researchers identify a protein that may help SARS-CoV-2 spread rapidly through cells
Colorado State University

Eric Ross and Sean Cascarina, biochemistry and molecular biology researchers at Colorado State University, have released a research paper identifying a protein encoded by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, that may be associated with the quick spread of the virus through cells in the human body.

Newswise: 240119_web.jpg
Released: 13-Aug-2020 11:05 AM EDT
Public health consequences of policing homelessness
University of Colorado Denver

Two weeks ago, Colorado State Patrol troopers began clearing out nearly 200 residents from homeless encampments that surround the Colorado Capitol.

Released: 13-Aug-2020 10:35 AM EDT
Age discrimination seen @Twitter during #COVID19 pandemic
University of Michigan

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a perfect storm for age discrimination on social media.

Released: 13-Aug-2020 10:15 AM EDT
New COVID-19 Model Reveals Need for Better Travel Restriction Implementation
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

More strategic and coordinated travel restrictions could have reduced the spread of COVID-19 in the early stages of the pandemic, data confirms. The conclusion, available in preprint on MedRxiv, an online repository of papers that have been screened but not peer reviewed, stems from new modeling conducted by a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Showing results

1120 of 2916