COVID-19 outbreak and the state’s food supply network
Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) director Derek Sandison released the following statement regarding agriculture, food production, and food distribution.
Agriculture and food production is an essential industry that feeds our communities and serves a vital role in the state’s economy. I want to extend my personal thanks to our farmers and ranchers and to all the hard-working people in the agriculture and food industry whose jobs cannot be performed remotely and who continue to show up every day to keep our critical food infrastructure rock solid.
As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, I want to assure the industry and the public that we are committed to keeping Washington’s food supply chain open and operational. State and federal government is actively working with producers, processors and distributors to ensure that the food supply chain continues to function and support our communities through these difficult and uncertain circumstances.
There is no need for the public to be concerned that store shelves will go empty, as farmers, ranchers and food processors are producing plenty to meet our needs. Deliveries to grocery stores, too, are continuing at a steady pace.
I know Washington’s agriculture industry has the full support of Governor Jay Inslee during this challenging period.
“We are in uncharted territory that requires creativity and flexibility, but that is nothing new for Washington’s farmers, food processors, and food distributors,” Gov. Inslee said. “The public should know that we are doing everything we can to ensure that all Washingtonians continue to have access to safe, healthy food.”
Our state government, the agriculture community, distribution networks, and all the many related industries will continue working together to overcome any obstacles we may face as we work to maintain operational continuity of our food supply chain.
Please visit www.coronavirus.wa.gov for more information on statewide actions and recommendations.