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With COVID-19, we’re in uncharted waters

Headshot of C. James Carr, President & CEO of Produce Blue Book.

I wonder when the coronavirus, or COVID-19, will cease being a threat to the health of the world. My fervent hope is that science and government will do what is right and necessary to stop the spread of the virus and eventually eradicate it. It is a deadly matter, and everyone needs to take it seriously.

After observing, reading, and discussing COVID-19, my takeaways are two in number: the swiftness of the spread of the coronavirus and the resulting human responses.

It was not more than four weeks ago when I was feeling very happy about the state of the world and my place in it: my 401(k) was at an all-time high, an early spring seemed to be settling in in the Midwest, and Spring baseball was underway. How quickly circumstances can change!

The human responses have ranged from panic to ‘we will deal with whatever comes.’ Grocery store food shelves are bare of several products, including hand sanitizers, diapers, milk, and Lysol.  Hoarding is more on the panic range of the continuum than the other side. Fear of the unknown is a scary thing.

Today, businesses need to be proactive on many fronts. If you’re a grower and have no plan to deal with a recall, now is the time to put one together. If you operate as a trucker and there is no one to unload the product, figure out a plan B. If your business is more of the ‘we’ll wing it’ kind, rethinking your business model is an absolute necessity.  Being prepared is the mantra.

At some point, COVID-19 will be under control and the world will be back to some sort of normalcy. Regardless, when that day comes, it’s safe to say that there will be many lingering effects, necessitating changes in business models and supply chain practices.

Blue Book stands ready to assist, now and in the future, with information and services to help you navigate the uncharted waters of whatever may come.


C. James Carr is the CEO of Blue Book Services.