While global supply chains succeeded in keeping food on the shelves during the Covid-19 crisis, which claimed large numbers of businesses in other industries, agribusiness leaders said it was far from ‘business as usual’.
Dr Mark Lyons, president and chief executive officer of Alltech, said keeping operational had been a critical element for businesses and that had aided consumer trust.
Speaking during a Women in Food and Agriculture webcast on how the agrifood chain had coped during the pandemic, he said: “People showed up and felt a renewed sense of purpose in the job.
“But this focus of the industry constantly looking at efficiency and constantly looking at a way that we can produce food at a lower price, has again been called into real question. “Because if we were not thinking of that, would we have had the ability to respond and would we have had the ability to be more flexible?”
Dr Lyons said Alltech had always built in local production throughout the world, which he said had given the business a ‘massive strategic advantage’ and helped it remain competitive.
He said trust between the actors in a supply chain was critical at any time, but especially in a pandemic and this should be a focus for businesses post-Covid-19.
“You are really seeing an appreciation from the consumer for the food sector in general, but particularly in local food and does this then shift things in terms of our supply chains.
“If you look at secure food supply, trust may be the driver in future, not price.”