Since Governor Kay Ivey’s statement on March 15 on the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries has continued to fulfill our regulatory responsibilities and redirected our 350 employees to work from home as needed.
“Our duty is to protect food safety, ensure animal health, permit the movement of plants and the use of pesticides while regulating the weighing and measuring devices needed in industry,” said Commissioner Pate. “We fulfill our regulatory responsibilities so that the food and agriculture industries of Alabama can continue to provide a safe and secure food supply. Alabama’s agricultural producers and related industries not only provide food and fiber to its citizens, but to the rest of the country and the world.”
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue
Wednesday morning, I participated in a conference call with Secretary Perdue and other state Agriculture Commissioners and was assured that USDA is coordinating with all federal agencies to prohibit any federal actions being taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 from adversely impacting our national food supply or logistics systems supporting those industries.
“Food is essential all year round, but in the face of a pandemic, it is critical the shelves remain stocked and supplies remain plentiful. America’s farmers and ranchers, and those on the front lines in the food service industry are doing their part,” said Secretary Perdue.
Governor Kay Ivey
Our office has been in touch with Governor Kay Ivey, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, and Alabama EMA Director Brian Hastings to request their immediate assistance in designating all agricultural stakeholders as ‘Critical Infrastructure and Essential Services’ and for these vital industries to be allowed to continue to operate unrestricted.
ADAI would like to assure our fellow citizens that our food supply is secure. There is ample sustainable food in our unrestricted supply system to continue to feed Alabamians as the system currently works. There is no reason to feel the need to hoard or to store more food than normal. The food supply chain will continue to operate as normal and will strive to keep the shelves stocked with food and supplies during this pandemic.
From growing to transportation, to processing to distribution, the federal government and our state government are committed to allowing all components of the food supply chain to operate unimpeded.