The Airlift Begins: The First Baby Food to Arrive in the United States

Status: 05/23/2022 12:31 PM

In the United States there is a huge shortage of special baby foods. The first military aircraft brought more than 31 tons to the United States from Ramstein in the Rhineland-Palatinate. More flights will follow.

Facing massive supply bottlenecks, the US government obtained baby food from Swiss manufacturer Nestlé, flown by a military plane. The plane carrying more than 31 tons of special baby food took off from the US base at Ramstein in Rhineland-Palatinate and landed in Indianapolis on Sunday, where Nestlé is based. There to be checked for quality in a nearby lab before they are distributed. The quantity should be enough to fill more than half a million baby bottles.

Due to massive bottlenecks: The first machine containing baby food has landed in the USA

Tajischaw 5:30 AM, 23.5.2022

In the evening, US President Joe Biden announced another supply flight for the coming days. “We got a second flight to take Nestlé baby formula to Pennsylvania,” he said on Twitter. “Our team works around the clock to provide safe baby food to everyone who needs it.” The president’s economic adviser, Brian Daisy, told CNN that the first shipment, which has now arrived in the United States, covers about 15 percent of immediate needs.

Air bridge to meet the shortage

There has been a shortage of baby food in the United States for several months now. Biden announced an airlift last week to meet demand from overseas supplies. The White House had announced that military aircraft from Ramstein will initially be used to carry out “Operation Immediate Flight” due to the urgency of the lack of commercial flights on the weekend. However, in the future, most deliveries will have to be handled with commercial machines.

Biden declared eliminating bottlenecks a top priority, and among other things, he activated a wartime ad hoc law to boost baby food production. The White House announced that, based on this law, the largest US manufacturer, Abbott Corporation and another manufacturer will be given priority when ordering baby food ingredients. For example, Abbott can order raw materials like sugar and corn syrup with priority despite bottlenecks in supply chains.

Production stopped at the largest American factory

A combination of several factors is responsible for the current supply bottlenecks in the USA: During the Corona pandemic, the production of infant formula has decreased due to supply bottlenecks and staff shortages. In February, Abbott halted production at the largest US powdered milk plant in Michigan and recalled several products after the deaths of two children. The inspection now done by the Food Authority showed that the product was of good quality. Last week, the agency and Abbott agreed to resume production. Abbott President Robert Ford said over the weekend that the Michigan plant will likely reopen in the first week of June.

The lack of supply mainly affects children who cannot digest milk and other foods and therefore depend on special food. “We feel sorry for every family we’ve let down since our voluntary recall worsened baby food shortages in our country,” Abbott CEO Robert Ford wrote in a post for the Washington Post. However, one would think the recall was correct.

US government calls for more service providers

According to Abbott, it will invest in measures designed to prevent similar bottlenecks in the future. Biden’s economic adviser, Deese, said that in the long run it was necessary to have more suppliers of baby food in the United States. One company should be prevented from affecting supply chains in this way.

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