October 2020

There are many ways in which production of salt can be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, from disruptions in availability of supplies needed to process it, to the labour needed to manufacture and transport it, to the price of this essential commodity.

IGN has been worried about the potential impact of COVID-19 since the pandemic began and has conducted an informal survey of salt producers, potassium iodate producers and others about potential disruptions to supply. We’ve found that while production has been impacted in many countries due to lockdown, there have so far been no major disruptions in supply. However, we are seeing a decrease in inspections and monitoring, which are vital to ensuring that salt is adequately iodized.

The work that we’ve done on this issue has been featured in the latest newsletter of The Life You Can Save, a nonprofit that inspires and empowers people to take action in the fight against extreme poverty. We’re planning to formalize this work into an early warning system that can alert stakeholders to potential problems, COVID-related or otherwise. With this information, we can act to support programs and prevent declines in production and coverage.