Canada: Fruit and vegetable shortages get worse

Canada: Fruit and vegetable shortages get worse as unvaccinated U.S. truckers turned away at border

Canada: Fruit and vegetable shortages get worse as unvaccinated U.S. truckers turned away at border

Canadian border agents began refusing entry to unvaccinated American truckers at the start of this week, and it’s already causing chaos - particularly in fruit and vegetable markets, Bloomberg reports.

A mandate starting Jan. 15 requires truck drivers crossing into Canada to be vaccinated. However, only about half of American truck drivers have gotten their shots. Meanwhile, as much as 90% of Canada’s fruits and vegetables comes from the U.S. during winter, and grocery stores are already having trouble getting some shipments, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.

“We’re seeing shortages,” said Gary Sands, senior vice president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. “We’re hearing from members they’re going into some stores where there’s no oranges or bananas.'”

The mandate is adding to Canada’s supply chain turmoil that was already abundant due to recent storms as well as the pandemic. Shipping snarls and logistical headwinds have been blamed for rising inflation across the globe. 

Prices for consumers will likely rise as freight costs soar. Sending one truckload of fresh produce from California or Arizona to Canada is now $9,500, up from an average of $7,000, according to North American Produce Buyers. That works out to an additional cost of 12 Canadian cents per head of lettuce, according to the company.

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