The Australian economy and all businesses continue to be impacted by the ongoing coronavirus (Covid -19) pandemic, across the world. Australia’s food and agribusiness sectors have also been affected because of the disruption in supply chains, global trade impacts and workforce management. The import of dairy products, like little squeaky cheese curds, also remains disrupted, though not restricted by the pandemic.

Starting with the introduction of travel restrictions introduced in China in the early 2020, Australia’s import and export sectors still continued to overcome the hurdles in improving and bringing the supply chains back to normality.

Impacts of the coronavirus on China, Japan, South Korea, and other South East Asian nations has in turnimpacted the packaging industry. Being the epicentre of the pandemic, the severe lockdown China imposed across its territories in 2020 to contain the spread, had left the supply chain reeling in shortage of the goods it requires to function.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, has not introduced any special measures to restrict imports of any products into the country. It continues to process permits, inspect imported goods, identifying intercepted pests, among others but notes that global travel restrictions coupled with state-specific travel restrictions could affect delivery of products. And this shows the impact of the pandemic on supply chains within the country and across the globe.

Most of the fresh food entering the country is airfreighted. The disruption of international airflights in and out of Australia coupled with some restrictions on crew members of cargo ships at its docks across the country, has affected the supply chain. Though the government has introduced measures to increase the number of air cargo flights in and out of the country, this still is not as friendly as it was before the pandemic.

Shortage of labour in international markets due to cases of Covid-19 has been a worrying situation for food and agribusiness across the world. Production capabilities of producers has been affected as the lockdowns forced workforces to stay at home or were provided with limited mobility options.

Australia already had robust regulations/restrictions on the import of dairy and agricultural products. This coupled with WHO guidelines considers receiving packages, letters or handling goods from affected areas as safe provides respite to importers in terms of additional time required for inspection of goods. However, delays in document processing and additional rules introduced by trading countries across the globe has been affecting the supply chain.

Pure Dairy, like other Australian food and agricultural product importers, has been actively working with, supply chain stakeholders and international trading partners to minimise the impact of pandemic on their supplies. This means that even though the home of our delicious squeaky cheese curds is currently struggling with the pandemic, we still get to safety enjoy their delicious taste at our favourite restaurants, thanks to Pure Dairy.

Despite the unprecedented hardships the global economy faced in 2020, progress made in the development and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines coupled with the resilience exhibited by the global trade stakeholders posits a positive outlook for 2021.