Cas Carter is a writer and public relations and marketing manager.
OPINION: My cat looks at me sideways and I, in turn, nervously look back.
I can’t stop thinking about what someone once said: cats: they’d eat you if they could.
They are described as pets, but anyone who knows cats understands that there is a bit of wildness in all of them. And that’s the wild part that worried me when I had to tell our cat Daffy that the global supply chain disruption had even affected her. New Zealand no longer had Whiskas cat biscuits.
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Obviously the local supermarket knew this was a big deal, their apology poster went to great lengths to explain how to wean your moggy from one type of cat food to another. It was no small feat. Daffy was clearly mad as hell even though I explained, “We all have to play our part and buy local”.
Last week we had another flurry on supermarket shelves, with panic buying toilet paper again. But what about cat food? I think I’d rather run out of toilet paper than listen to a hungry cat meow all day.
It’s not just the lack of cat food that makes me uneasy, it’s the growing realization that our cup is no longer overflowing with everything our heart desires, thanks to the continued disruptions of the channel. supply.
We have been incredibly spoiled to be able to expect access to just about anything we want, but the gaps in supermarket shelves and the shortage of building materials have given me a little whiff of anxiety that not only has limited overseas travel, but the availability of international products as well.
The global pandemic has not only tested the supply of Daffy’s cookies or my favorite French mayo, but has also had a serious impact on important things like health products.
It even caused a shortage of a pantry staple, canned tomatoes, due to a labor shortage in Italy to complete the harvest.
All of this scarcity reminds us never to take for granted the value we have derived from New Zealand’s development as a trading nation.
What worries me is that Covid may not be the only issue affecting Daffy’s supply of Whiskas biscuits.
Longer-term issues like climate change, for example, could impact, or more specifically, how other countries respond to global warming through their policies. Things like campaigns to buy local and carbon taxes are likely to disrupt both our imports and our exports. Not to mention the impacts of sea level rise on the movement of products.
Because New Zealand is seen as the end of the road for major shipping companies, Daffy and his empty plate are unlikely to have any influence on the tough decisions shipping companies have to make about where to go and when.
I tried to explain to Daffy singing the Rolling Stones lyrics “You can’t always get what you want” she replied with a light claw on her left knee and then something much worse.
As I refreshed my cup of tea and contemplated life without international indulgences, Daffy managed to swipe this half-written column from my laptop.
While searching frantically, I came across a document that just said: “mmmmmmmmmmmmmm”.
Suspiciously, I pressed the back button and voila, there was my half-written ode to supply chains: standing on the keyboard, it was his retaliation for not supplying the right international brands.
So, while envisioning the future of our trading nation, I learned two immediate lessons:
Never trust a cat, no matter how domestic. And never, ever cut their supply chain.