Over the past several years, the U.S. agriculture industry has never faced such unprecedented realities of supply uncertainty and sourcing challenges to meet consumer demand, and ultimately deliver an abundant food supply.
Shipping challenges worldwide have made getting imports for specialty crop production incredibly difficult, costly and time-consuming. As significant chemical shortages and delays in receiving products persist, growers and retailers look to confide in a reliable partner.
To help understand how we got here, it’s important to look at global factors that have influenced the current scenario. Beginning as early as 2017, global manufacturing sources were experiencing extreme challenges. Demand for many imports started to outpace the ability to transport goods from places like China and India. These countries also imposed environmental regulations that resulted in plant shutdowns and saw raw material shortages, both of which caused production to become unpredictable and challenged planning. This fragility overseas led to increased ocean freight costs and in 2021, we’ve seen costs up around 300% globally.
Once crop protection products arrive in the United States, they’ve been met with record-breaking port congestion, causing further backups and additional costs. After goods are out of port, ground transportation presents another massive barrier. Major labor shortages of truck drivers have added more costs and delays.
It is inevitable new stressors will surface daily. To help specialty crop growers and retailers deliver on their promise, meticulous attention to detail and a team to back it up are essential. So, what can specialty crop growers do to minimize the impact on their operations as they face the delicate state of supply? Create a battle plan:
- Find reliable partners. Actively engage with them. Chances are, some of the products you rely on may be unavailable or priced to the point where they just don’t pencil out. Choosing partners that are agile and reliable will be paramount in this crop season and the years to come.
- Plan for alternatives early. Do your homework on same-result alternatives that can be used in case of shortages or pricing frustrations. That way, if Plan A isn’t workable, you have already analyzed the pros and cons of another option that may work just as well and save you from missing any crop protection or nutrient application windows.
- Get answers. Look for sources you can trust to give you honest, transparent updates about the barriers to supply and pricing. You need to know you have all the information required to make informed, sound decisions with the barriers facing the industry.
Atticus, LLC is an American-owned, bootstrapped and independently operated company that is suited up and battle-ready to address supply chain issues for 2022 and beyond. Driven by grassroots experience and an unwavering commitment to operational excellence, Atticus is an ally uniquely positioned to focus on long-term decisions that bring products to market. Specialty growers and their retailer partners will find products that meet agronomic and business needs to get the most from input requirements.
As a reliable ally to retail distribution, Atticus is focused on delivering a broad, expanding portfolio of relevant, branded-generic pesticides. We have a solid history working with retailers to help their grower customers secure the herbicides, insecticides and fungicides they need to improve and protect specialty crop production. A robust regulatory strategy at both the technical active-ingredient and end-use product levels means Atticus can be agile when unforeseen shutdowns or delays occur and provide relevant product alternatives.
Atticus is deliberately staffed to mitigate the issues ahead and to scale along with the health of products coming off patent. Specialty crop growers and retailers can benefit from Atticus’ proactive engagement and decisive action as they prepare for the next crop season. Atticus is a team that doesn’t back away from intensity and in this chaotic state, the team has never brought more forethought to cut through the noise.
When every decision matters, retail distribution can put their trust in Atticus to manage pesticides needs, protect them from the volatility of the marketplace, and ultimately clear the path of victory for specialty crop growers.
As new challenges arise in this ever-changing world, Atticus will continue to put its experience to work so specialty crop growers can focus on production and help meet the demands of the food supply now and in the future. When every second counts, choose Atticus.