As economies tumble, inflation surges and global food prices soar to critically high levels, two sectors seem to have hit the jackpot in 2022 – energy giants and grain traders.
The list of countries banning or reducing exports of foodstuffs is now increasing so quickly that it is starting to look like a pile-up on the freeway:
The flap over avocados between the United States and Mexico demonstrates just how tenuous our supply chains are and will continue to be
It is up to those of us who can see the fragility of the world, and cannot abide by it, to put a stop to the calamity awaiting us. To do so, we’d need to cut ourselves loose from the net, while tending to our broken relationships, and forging new ones.
Our lavish grocery stores have suddenly become even more like museums, but not in a good way.
Oblivious to the risks, we have now built a globalized society that from the point of view of a coronavirus is a near perfect vehicle for the virus’ propagation. But that is only one part of the story. For when all the tightly coupled logistical and financial nodes of the global system start transmitting signals of distress and breakdown, this really threatens panic and ruin.
Fourteen years ago, as shortages in key commodities appeared and prices soared, I asked whether just-in-time was nearly out of time. If the corona virus spreads worldwide, we may all be asking that question soon.