Keeping things cornucopious
The world’s food system has so far weathered the challenge of covid-19
But things could still go awry
In late january China banned package tours from heading overseas for the lunar new-year holiday. This gave cold sweats to David Parker, New Zealand’s trade minister. Fewer tourists were a disappointment, but planes that did not bring tourists in one direction would not take agricultural produce back in the other—significantly more worrying, given that China is New Zealand’s biggest customer for the food which is its biggest export.
So as airlines started grounding planes, the government engineered a deal with Air New Zealand; the airline would get a loan if it kept routes to China, Singapore and America open, thus allowing kiwi fruits and other delicacies out into the world even when the cabins above the hold were empty. Mr Parker also offered support to airlines based in the Middle East. “It’s hard to grow some of the things they eat there,” he says. “There was
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