Food supply to Cayman amid US shutdown

| 16/01/2019

Will the US government shutdown affect food supply to the Cayman Islands? I have also heard that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cut back on inspections. Will that compromise the safety of the products that are imported and put out on Cayman’s shelves?

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian statusAuntie’s answer: I am sure that many people here share your concern. I approached the supermarkets here to see what they have heard, since this issue would directly affect them.

Woody Foster, of Foster’s Food Fair, was first off the mark, and gets many thanks for his quick response.

He explained that one of his suppliers recently sent a link that addresses how the USDA is operating under the shutdown, basically saying that the necessary inspections will continue.

Mr Foster added that he then called the supermarket’s major vendors, including a shipping company, to check. “They all have responded that we should not have any issue as all USDA inspectors are at work and to this point being paid,” he said.

However, the produce company and shipper also told him that there have been “some issues with inbound produce not getting in consistently”, which could lead to some items becoming out of stock here.

While the suppliers told Mr Foster they would update him if anything changes, he said they also pointed out that as the shutdown is a “historic situation” (26 days and counting as of Wednesday, 16 January) there is no precedent for them to rely on as to what will happen.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The USA is not the only food supplier

  2. Anonymous says:

    I would not be in the least bit surprised if USDA inspections of food bound for Cayman are done over the phone much like some electrical inspections are done here for those with “connections”. Adding to this, it’s ironic that some of the produce that manages to survive the trip to Cayman would hardly pass a USDA inspection if it were done on this end.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The escalating trade war talk with China and USA ought to be higher on the collective geopolitical worry list since much of humanity’s global food processing and production has shifted to China over the last 20 years. NASDA, perhaps unwittingly, has become dangerously reliant on the integrity of this relationship – already being squeezed under tens of billions in new retaliatory Chinese taxes since last summer.

  4. Anonymous says:

    OMG we are all going to die here trapped on this desert island!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thst is why anyone eith a sq. ft of lland or a few old garden pots/ bins should always grow something . It won’t solve world hunger but if you can go out in your backyard and pick a lime, a pepper, a tomato it will benefit you. Also please buy from local farmers as much as possible.

  6. Anonymous says:

    These mini video series (3-5 min) are for Alaskans, but Caymanians should be prepared as well. They are just as Alaskans depends on food imports.
    1. 3 days food supply in a can
    2. Deterioration of the port
    3. How to deal with ptsd after a natural disaster
    4. How to evacuate