Farmers have been struck by the pandemic, which goes double for farmers who have traditionally sold their crops to businesses rather than to individual consumers. For example, in Florida, many farms grow crops destined for use in restaurants, theme parks, and cruise lines, all of which are shuttered due to social distancing requirements. At first, the farmers simply let their crops rot where they fell, since their usual clients weren't buying, and even if they did harvest their crop, there was nowhere to send it.
According to Return to Now, many Florida farmers are changing their business model and reaching out to people instead of businesses to ensure the food they're growing doesn't go to waste.
Food Is Still a Need
While people have wrung their hands over the supply lines for food, farms are still growing produce. Herds are still grazing, and dairy cows are still being milked. The difficulty for farms that have worked primarily with bigger businesses is that they can't connect with smaller customers to distribute their products in a new way.
And that is what is currently changing.
From tomatoes and oranges to okra, green beans, peppers, and more, Florida's farms are working with the Department of Agriculture to make sure that as much of their crop finds its way into people's kitchens as possible. It's an adjustment, but it is also laying the groundwork for ensuring that farmers don't face an immediate grinding to a halt when circumstances demand businesses to cease their operations in the future. Because while going on a cruise, visiting a theme park, or even going out to a restaurant are luxuries, food is a necessity. And even if people are no longer allowed to indulge in luxuries due to health and economic restrictions, they still need to eat, which means that farmers (and the food they produce) will always be in demand.