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Fresh Produce Risks Getting More Scarce With U.S. Jabs Mandate

The U.S. will begin turning away unvaccinated Mexican truckers at the border, sparking concerns of further supply chain woes

Buckets of strawberries during a harvest at a farm in Culiacan, Sinaloa state, Mexico.

Buckets of strawberries during a harvest at a farm in Culiacan, Sinaloa state, Mexico.

Photographer: Jeoffrey Guillemard/Bloomberg

Food shortages already seen at grocery stores across the U.S. risk getting worse as the country begins mandating vaccinations from truck drivers coming from Mexico and Canada.

The mandate starting Jan. 22 requires truckers and other essential workers who aren’t U.S. citizens crossing into the country to be vaccinated. Canada made a similar move beginning Jan. 15, and it has caused chaos for the country's fruit and vegetable markets. Now the produce industry is sounding the alarm that the U.S. could experience similar headaches because of the large amount of food imported from Mexico during the winter months. In 2020, Mexico accounted for 77% of U.S. fresh vegetable import volume. This comes at a time when the food supply chain is already seeing massive disruption.