At the 2020 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, the fear of coronavirus not only focused on perhaps not wanting to shake hands with so many people, constantly washing your hands (which we should always do) and the use of hand sanitizers, but also in other aspects. It seemed to me that Chinese companies’ booths looked emptier than they had ever been (perhaps I am exaggerating), and also, many people from that country did not come.

In addition to that, the fear exists regarding what could happen to the world’s poultry industry as a result of the presence of coronavirus. Some people at IPPE told me about their concerns that coronavirus could impact the poultry industry. Of course, not it’s because chickens are going to get sick, but because of the fact that China has restricted the transportation of people inside Wuhan and out of this highly industrialized area. How are they going to produce, if people can’t go to work?

It is being speculated that there might be a shortage of raw materials, because as someone told me, “we all in poultry depend – in one way or the other – on what is manufactured in China.” And it's no wonder. So, there are companies in the poultry sector genuinely concerned about supply.

I hope we do not reach the collective hysteria level and start asking for coronavirus-free "certificates” in raw materials, just as we have not done with other diseases. That would be crazy, and we would be shooting ourselves in the foot.

China is too strong, and this situation calls into question whether we should continue depending on a single supplier. It is a cry for diversification. With reference to Mexico's dependence on the United States, there is a saying that “when the United States sneezes, Mexico gets pneumonia.” Will the thought be now that China is going to get coronavirus and the rest of the world gets pneumonia?

Hopefully this does not happen.

What do you think?