The response rate in Florida has been lower than expected in an effort to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food and agricultural systems and to develop strategies for coping with future crises. Consequently, those involved in Florida agriculture are being asked to respond by April 11 to a survey about the pandemic’s impact.
“We’re seeking food supply chain respondents, from producers to retail distributors, and everything in between,” said Christa Court, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) assistant professor of food and resource economics. Court is the lead investigator of the food supply chain survey component of the project. “So far, the response rate in Florida has been lower than expected, and we ask anyone involved to help us to accurately represent Florida industries in this national survey,” Court added.
UF/IFAS researchers are working with scientists from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of California-Irvine and Kansas State University on the assessment effort. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.
The COVID-19 survey asks respondents to reflect on the entirety of 2020 and, along with the partnering institutions’ surveys, will allow for comparisons to other regions of the United States. Specifically, the partner institutions aim to capture impacts in the Midwest and Southern California. The three regions together represent not only diverse commodities but also diverse socioeconomic groups, with the goal to obtain a broader look at the national impacts of the pandemic.
Court said, “It’s important to not only get responses, but to get a wide variety of them. Positive, negative or no change, and even in the event of a complete closure, we want to hear what happened to your business in 2020.”
Court added that individual operations will remain unidentifiable and be consolidated into broader categories, should the response rate necessitate.
Individuals from outside Florida are not barred from participation, she said, but such responses might only be reflected among the national overview, depending on response rates for different regions.
Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
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