Looking ahead: Food systems resilience beyond COVID-19
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Agro-food, Trade and Markets Division, Trade and Agriculture Directorate
Time: Tuesday, 19. January 2021, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (CET), subsequent deep dive 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Languages: English, German
COVID-19 and its associated lockdown restrictions introduced unforeseen stresses on food systems. Bottlenecks in logistics and labour and an unprecedented shift in consumer demand disrupted supply chains. Public health measures to respond to the pandemic also increased the food insecurity of vulnerable populations. Governments and private actors adopted measures to ensure product flows and market functionality and to support distressed producers, workers, and consumers, limiting the shocks for the sector. Still, the COVID-19 crisis adds to the “triple challenge” of food systems to simultaneously provide food security and nutrition to a growing global population, secure the livelihoods of millions working along the food chain, and ensure environmental sustainability.
Improved policies are needed to address this triple challenge while bolstering the resilience of food systems, not just to COVID-19, but also to climate change and other risks. In particular, governments need to complement their crisis responses with measures that meet longer-term objectives, while winding down temporary relief measures that may limit future resilience. This panel will discuss how this can be achieved by combining insights from the private sector, academia, NGOs, and governments during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis. How can we improve the governance of risks? What investments are needed? How should the sector prepare for long-term risks? And what existing policies are hampering risk management?