A new collaboration between the WashingtonFood Industry Association (WFIA) and the Washington Trucking Associations (WTA)aims to better educate policymakers and consumers about the forces impacting the state’s food supply chain.
Executives representing the state's independent grocers and the trucking industry today announced their partnership, kicking the effort off with a video and a new SupplyChain Legislative Caucus.
The video spotlights Washington-area farms and distributors, including Mosby Farms and Charlie’sProduce, to frame the challenges faced by food producers and distributors both before and during the pandemic.
“Our state’s food supply chain has been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a challenge further compounded by seasonal weather disruptions and a national labor shortage. This has been a very stressful time for grocers, who are doing their best to meet the needs of consumers who may not fully understand all of the forces that impact our supply chain,” said WFIA President & CEO Tammie Hetrick.
“The pandemic has provided us with an opportunity to highlight our local farmers, producers, and ranchers who provide fresh food and other products to area stores, and the obstacles they have faced in getting those products to market. This new collaboration will allow us to work together to address these challenges and develop solutions to protect and enhance this vital network in Washington’s economy.”
The Supply Chain Legislative Caucus is a bipartisan effort bringing legislators in the House and Senate together to learn about and develop policy solutions to issues impacting Washington’s supply chain. The group will work in conjunction with the Department of Transportation, Department of Licensing, local governments, and supply chachains stakeholder groups, such as growers, manufacturers/processors, transporters (e.g., trucking, rail, air, and waterborne cargo interests), retailers, ports, labor organizations, and other supply chain-impacted associations.
“We are grateful for the support of Rep. Matt Boehnke and for his willingness to chair this new caucus and provide a strategic focus on these issues,” said Washington Trucking Associations President/CEO Sheri Call. “Like many other sectors, trucking continues to struggle with labor shortages, which have been further amplified by the pandemic. Trucking is a vital part of our economy, and essential in all aspects of the movement of consumer and agricultural goods — nearly 80 percent of Washington communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods from farm to processor to export or retail. So finding solutions to our unique challenges – from parking to attracting new drivers — will also benefit other businesses and industries as supply chain stakeholders,” she added.
“We are excited to work collaboratively on solutions that will strengthen and enhance all aspects of Washington’ssupply chain for everyone’s benefit.”