Image Source: National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration
Billions of snow crabs have disappeared from Alaska's Bering Sea in recent years. Population declines are so severe that the state's Department of Fish and Game canceled the snow crab harvest season for the second year in a row. Catchers have attributed declines to overfishing, but a new study from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) found a different cause: it's more likely that warmer ocean temperatures caused the snow crabs to starve to death. Climate change is restructuring earth's food chain in ways we are just beginning to understand.
Image Source: Bloomberg/Getty Images
Global olive oil prices reached $8,900 per ton last month, a 130% increase over last year, according to the USDA. Prices have been driven up by extremely dry weather and low olive yields in the Mediterranean, particularly in Spain, the world’s largest olive oil producer and exporter. In related news, 50,000 liters of extra virgin olive oil ($450,000 worth) was stolen recently from one of Spain’s oil mills. Prices are expected to continue rising. If you prefer olive oil for cooking and see it on sale, now may a good time to stock up.
More Supply Chain News
Image Source: Andrew Jansen
Back in March, Tyson closed two chicken plants in Virginia and Arkansas, cutting about 1,700 jobs. The poultry giant is now closing four more plants in Arkansas, Indiana and Missouri, cutting almost 3,000 more jobs. For over 50 years, these chicken plants have been small-town fixtures. The closures will deliver a blow, especially in Noel, Missouri, where well over half the town population works at the Tyson plant. Why the closures? Demand for chicken is trending down, forcing a number of cost-cutting moves, including the recent layoff of more than 225 Tyson corporate employees.
Image Source: Ben Curtis/Associated Press
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) suspended all food aid to Ethiopia after an investigation found “widespread and coordinated” theft of emergency rations. A brief by the Humanitarian and Resilience Donor Group said the scheme “appeared to be orchestrated by federal and regional government of Ethiopia entities, with military units across the country benefiting from humanitarian assistance.” The US is the biggest single donor to Ethiopia, providing $1.8 billion in humanitarian assistance, including food aid, in 2022. In total, 20 million people across Ethiopia rely on food aid because of conflict and drought. It appears the government decided its military needed the food most. USAID intends to resume food assistance once they are "confident in the integrity of delivery systems to get assistance to its intended recipients."
Image Source: Reuters/Daniel Acker
In 2021, California passed a law (Proposition 12) banning the sale of pork products derived from sows that don’t have at least 24 square feet of space and the ability to stand up and turn around in their pens. The National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation sued, arguing that increased costs for pig farmers violate the "Commerce Clause," which prevents states from passing laws discriminating against commerce in other states. The case went to the Supreme Court, and last month, federal judges upheld the California law: no more gestation crates for California pork. Score 1 for this little piggy.