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Food System Response to COVID-19

I have been closely observing the impact of the pandemic on food systems and the response of agri-food actors around the world. The projections of food insecurity are devastating. However, I have found reassurance in seeing how the global food system showed tremendous resilience in such adversity. We saw many actors rising to the occasion to become food heroes. These were ordinary people such as farmers, transporters, grocery store owners, restaurant managers who worked around the clock, adjusted nimbly to difficult challenges, and demonstrated that every part of the food value chain is essential to a sustainable and resilient food system.

Without them, the story would have been different and we most likely would have had a food crisis in addition to the current health crisis.

Throughout, innovation has really shone through.  I am thrilled to be moderating a great panel of leaders from the farm all the way to urban gardening programs at this year’s Agritecture Xchange.  Please register to hear their inspiring stories.

I am proud to be part of a sector that has shown such a persistent spirit. It is dedicated to providing the most valuable product we all need – food – and bred creativity at every level.  We witnessed brilliant innovation from food production, to food processing and manufacturing, to even the meals people make right at the consumption end. After all, necessity is the mother of invention.

As a result, the respect people had for the food and agriculture industry has grown in leaps and bounds. The Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI), a national charity whose mandate is to help Canada’s food system earn public trust by coordinating research, resources, and dialogue, reported that the level of confidence that Canadians have in the food system has gone up by 12% compared to last year in their 2020 Public Trust Research Report. In these times of uncertainty, this is a huge accomplishment and demonstrates how well the food sector is performing. I look forward to hearing more of such stories as we share on Food System Responses to COVID-19 this December.

Join me at Agrictecture Xchange. Buy your tickets today!

Robynne Anderson

Robynne has extensive experience in the agriculture and food sector, working throughout the value chain – from basic inputs to farmers in the field to the grocery store shelf. She works internationally in the sector, including speaking at the United Nations on agriculture and food issues, and representing the International Agri-Food Network at the UN.Throughout her career she has worked with farm organisations like the Prairie Oat Growers Association, the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi and the Himalayan Farmers Association, as well as global groups, to further the voice of agriculture in the food debate. She has also worked with Fortune 500 companies growing worldwide businesses to assist them with issues management and strategy decisions.

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