COVID-19: Supply Chain Disruptions in the U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Industry: In Brief [May 8, 2020] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Document: "The U.S. fruit and vegetable industry entered 2020 following a difficult 2019 characterized by both lower prices and reduced production in some sectors. By broad market category, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that grower prices for both fruits and tree nuts and vegetables and pulses began 2020 at low levels, with expectations for continued price declines. In mid-March 2020, the foodservice industry, which accounts for a substantial share of the produce industry's sales, was largely shut down as most states closed all but essential businesses in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. This situation resulted in major supply chain disruptions for the U.S. produce industry. [...] On April 15, 2020, in an effort to lessen labor disruption impacts on the industry, the Department of Homeland Security and USDA announced a temporary final rule to change certain H-2A visa requirements. Related concerns involve the potential effects if farmworkers and other produce industry workers become ill from the virus, as happened in some U.S. meatpacking plants. COVID-19 outbreaks have disrupted meat processing and caused some shortages of certain meat products in grocery stores."
CRS Report for Congress, R46348
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/