A deep dive into horticulture supply chain challenges

06-10-2021    12:11   |    Greenhouse Grower

If you ask the average greenhouse grower a question about the topic keeping them up at night more than anything else, in most years, their response will have something to do with finding and retaining a stable workforce.

However, as the end of 2021 draws closer, there’s another topic that appears to be on everyone’s mind. It’s supply chain challenges, in particular product shortages, delivery delays, and higher prices. These issues are affecting both growers’ ability to source the tools they need for plant production, and their ability to forecast for an upcoming year that could easily maintain the success that most of the industry has experienced this past year.

Our editorial team’s conversations with both growers and vendors certainly bear this out, as do the results of our recent State of the Industry survey, which closed in mid September. For example, when we asked growers about the top concerns facing their business now that the economy has opened up after COVID-19 lockdowns, around two-thirds of respondents cited supply chain disruptions (worker shortages, the top concern in any other year, was around 55%).

Here’s a couple other figures:

  • For the question “How did supply chain issues and concerns affect your business in 2021?” more than 75% responded said either “significantly” or “somewhat.”
  • When asked “Do you have any plans for expansions, projects, or new purchases in 2022 that may be affected by supply chain issues?” almost 40% said “yes.”

Digging a little deeper, when asked how supply chain issues are affecting 2022 planning, and what you’re doing about it, the most common responses involved placing orders much earlier than normal (even if it’s for more product than you need), and looking at all your sourcing options.

There’s also the extra time involved. As one grower told us, “Since so much has been disrupted, we are scrambling to make back up plans, which takes additional labor and time when things don’t arrive as planned.”

Add it all up, and it’s a concern that’s going to be around for a while.

In the coming weeks, stay tuned to GreenhouseGrower.com for more updates on how growers of all crops, sizes, and locations are dealing with the problem, what vendors are telling you to do, and how the industry as a whole is responding.


Source: Greenhouse Grower
Photo created by jcomp - freepik


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