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National general truck drivers’ strike and food security in a Brazilian metropolis

Lopes, Mariana Souza, Araújo, Melissa Luciana de, Lopes, Aline Cristine Souza
Public health nutrition 2019 v.22 no.17 pp. 3220-3228
Sechium edule, cabbage, cucumbers, descriptive studies, diesel fuel, eggs, food availability, food prices, food security, food sovereignty, food supply chain, foods, fruits, markets, metropolitan areas, oranges, potatoes, road transportation, roots, tubers, working conditions, Brazil
We analysed the impact of the national general truck drivers’ strike on the availability, variety and price of foods sold by a food supply centre. Descriptive study using secondary data to examine the percentage change in the mean price of fruits, vegetables and eggs before, during and after the strike. The strike in Brazil lasted 10 d from 21 to 30 May 2018. The drivers were on strike in order to make diesel oil tax-free and to obtain better working conditions. The food supply centre, named CEASA-Minas Grande BH, was located in the metropolitan area of a Brazilian city. We examined twenty types of foods. After 10 d, there was a ~30 % reduction in the availability of all types of foods and prices increased. Foods with the highest price increases included cabbage (233·3 %), potatoes (220·0 %), papaya (160·0 %) and oranges (78·6 %). At the end of the strike, we observed reductions in the price of eggs, fruits, vegetables, roots and tubers; however, some foods remained more expensive than before the strike, including chayote (203·2 % higher), cucumber (66·7 % higher) and potatoes (60·0 % higher). The general truck drivers’ strike was correlated with a reduction in the availability of food and, consequently, increases in price and possibly restrictions on access. The strike demonstrated the dependence of metropolises on road transportation and the conventional market. We speculate that initiatives aiming to shorten the food supply chain and promote food sovereignty and resilience of the supply circuits could be important.