There Is More Change To Come For The Food Sector

Posted: Aug 25, 2020

I don’t know about you, but I cannot remember an era (during my lifetime that is) that has been so disruptive (and therefore intriguing) as now. Although I might not be long enough in the tooth to have experienced a world war, I suspect that our generation will be recounting COVID-19 tales for decades to come.

While some individuals, companies and industries are thriving through the pandemic, others are not so fortunate, and I offer my sympathies to those of you who have lost loved ones or colleagues to COVID. We are experiencing a period of significant change, from lifestyle perspectives, career learnings and business opportunities. Perhaps most important, is the change our food industry is witnessing, with technical endeavours and a vast of regulatory developments coming to the fore.

If our global food supply bases are affected by one or more likely variables; incomplete trade agreements, currency instability, geopolitical insecurity, war, climate change, an ongoing (or resurging) pandemic, we may be in for some serious and significant supply shortages. This scenario will ultimately require some level of Government intervention. Recognition and understanding of the multiple global regulatory guidelines will be valuable skill sets to support our purchasing and sales colleagues within our individual companies, and to support the flexibility of trade on national level.

At the start of this year, few of us would have imagined the scale of change we have had to adapt to over the last few months. I acknowledge the food industry’s ability to cope throughout this period, but I predict further adjustment is on the horizon. Although some find change a daunting prospect, a stepping into the unknown, there are opportunities to be seized. There are potential opportunities to create better systems, whether that is on a micro scale within our own farms and production facilities, or on a global scale – can we find a utopia global agri-food chain model that satisfies national food security requirements balanced with regulatory equivalency?

By Gideon Ashworth
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