The online debate on Future Scenarios for the EuroMED Agrifood is promoted by the PRIMA Foundation and Italian Secretariat of PRIMA, in collaboration with Union for the Mediterranean.

The panel will be held on July 15 at 17.30 (CET), and it will discuss the main trends and issues in the agrifood, concluding the survey on Future Scenarios for EuroMed Agrifood, developed in the frame of PRIMA.

Please Save this Date and Join us in the debate, which will gather together speakers from major institutions and initiatives collaborating with PRIMA.

Register here


Agenda | Speakers | Report | Notes | Comments | Press  | Video gallery

Agenda

17.30 Welcome 
    • Mr. Angelo Riccaboni – Chair PRIMA Foundation
    • Mr. Nasser Kamel – Union for the Mediterranean Secretary General
17.40 Introduction to the Survey
    • Mr. Omar Amawi – Deputy Director PRIMA Foundation
17.45 Debate
    • Mr. Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer – European Commission
    • Mr. Jamie Morrison – FAO 
    • Ms. Marta Guadalupe Rivera Ferre – FACCE JPI
    • Mr. Ayman F. Abou Hadid – Ain Shams University, Faculty of Agriculture
    • Ms. Arianna Giuliodori – World Farmers Organization 
    • Mr. Andy Zynga – EIT Food 

Moderator Mr. Octavi Quintana – Director PRIMA Foundation

18.45 Conclusion 
    • Mr. Mohamed El-Shinawi – Co-Chair PRIMA Foundation
    • Mr. Isidro González – Union for the Mediterranean Deputy Secretary General

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Speakers

 
Angelo Riccaboni
PRIMA Foundation

Chair

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Nasser Kamel
Union for the Mediterranean

Secretary General

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Omar Amawi
PRIMA Foundation

Deputy Director

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Hans-Jörge Lutzeyer
European Commission

Senior policy officer at DG Research and Innovation, in the Bioeconomy and Food Systems unit (FOOD 2030)

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Jamie Morrison
FAO

Director and Strategic Programme Leader

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Marta Guadalupe Rivera Ferre
JPI FACCE

Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)

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Ayman F. Abou-Hadid
Ain Shams University

Professor, Arid Lands Agricultural studies and Research Institute

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Arianna Giuliodori
World Farmers Organization

Secretary General

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Andy Zynga
EIT Food

CEO

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Isidro Gonzáles
Union for the Mediterranean

Deputy Secretary General in charge of Water, Environment and Blue Economy

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Mohamed El-Shinawi
PRIMA Foundation

Co-Chair

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Octavi Quintana
PRIMA Foundation

Director

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Report

Download the report
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Notes

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Comments

        • Many answers are given by taking into account mid-term scenarios (2-3 years). Of course, short-term views are much affected by Covid-19, but I am confident that once we will back to the normality (thanks to appropriate risk management) the pre-Covid priorities will become again important, still keeping in mind actions which are necessary to mitigate emergency.
        • Agreements between agrifood producers and retailers is needed, to cooperate together
        • No direct mentioning of primary production, notwithstanding its pivotal importance, increasingly ignored by the EU-funded programs. On a similar line it would have been useful to include some questions related to technological aspects in different areas, such as agronomy and plant breeding, key for primary production and their impacts on climate change and the environmental footprint of agriculture. I find all this quite disappointing , particularly in view of the increasingly negative impact of climate change on primary production. Only one of the questions indirectly evoked primary production in terms of self-sufficiency of single countries. Italy imports a huge amount of cereals, particularly wheat the main source our daily caloric intake and also source of proteins in our diet. Sorry for this long comment and thank you for the possibility to allow the possibility to comment.
        • The impact of It and new technology to support smart pharming like Iot, drones and blockchain along the supply chain would help the sector to be better integrated vertically. I don’t believe however in major disruption of the traditional market, like street markets strongly based on quality and local producers, the role of e-commerce in this sector is limited.
        • From emergency scenarios to new food scenarios: we need to introduce more “innovative research methods” ( design, empathy-related research methods, ect.)
        • In relation to the agrifood post COVID scenario (2020-2021), among the policy options to be considered there should necessarily be included initiatives for incentivating and facilitating production, marketing, availability and affordability of healthy and sustainable foods
        • There is still a lot to do to educate the consumer…..Healthy? Natural? Sustainable? Organic? Green? communication is not helping to explain the complexity and the values of food…
        • Since the emergence is still on, it is really difficult to have a reliable consciousness of these aspects;  The Covid-19 emergency highlighted that meeting the demand for constant food supply under pandemic conditions is a challenging factor, whose importance toward population health maintenance ranks second to the availability of proper healthcare. In light of this, an even more difficult challenge for the post-Covid scenario is to promote innovative solutions that can improve the global and local efficiency of the entire agrifood production chain, while keeping high nutritional values and affordable retail prices.
        • Small, medium and family farmers (in particular those that produce organically) could have more chances to revitalize and valorize their produces into market, making of their typical production an excellence and distributing door to door their food.  The use of ITC platforms may help
        • Agrifood value chains will need restructuring post covid-19, but this may not go toward better sustainability unless driven by wise policies.  
        • About consumers I think that this crisis is going to exacerbate the distance between the richest and poorest; so the food choices will be linked to that! The poorest consumers will choice on the base of the price, the richest on the base of sustainability, healthy foods and their traceability.
        • 1) the agrifood sector is already strongly regulated; 
        • 2) the idea to strengthen the bond between products and terroirs could backfire, generating bottlenecks on the supply side. Better to promote certifications of products, transportation, and animal welfare;
        • 3) the financial crisis could negatively affect consumers’ elasticity to price. 
        • In some cases, the situation was the same also before the COVID (es. above all for that concerns consumers). Of course well planned policies addressed to promote and valorize the national food chain could help the agricultural sector, together with policies applied to guarantee stable food prices. In this sense, agreements among the stakeholders involved in the food chain should help to face together the financial and logistics risks.
        • At lot of post-covid19 will be determined by multi-Nationals and supermarkets that have a stranglehold on the food supply. The small producers will lose out unless it is possible to develop smart/alternative retail means so local produce can be competitive and easily sold and accessible to the population. I think that for ICT innovations to really work this needs to be developed directly with SMEs in mind. Consumers may be forced to the cheapest alternatives if they have no money and other ethical considerations become a lower priority. The risk is that multi-national and large supermarkets will exploit this opportunity to increase their control on the food supply chain.
        • Environmental concern will be part of people’s conscience and will increase in the face of the current pandemic. It will be one of the positive parts of this catastrophe.
        • The Covid pandemic will accelerate major changes in the agrifood system as we know it, that would probably end up happening later in time. The main drawback in my opinion relates to financial difficulties both for consumers and small-scale producers and the sustainability issues that will probably be left let in a second plan of priorities, as well as the possibility healthy diets adoption (like MD) – major strategic policies are needed to overcame these negative impacts of Covid in the sector.
        • Please give attention to people that did investments before Covid, that could be very affected with economy and hard risks of bankruptcy, if the economy doesn’t recover quickly.
          The post COVID scenario is a reality, which will be developed differently in different areas of our planet and in different economies, although the global economy usually flattens the regional policies.
          In the long term COVID-19 will have a minor impact on the agrifood chain, in contrast to other economic sectors such as tourism, which will be negatively affected for a longer period.
          Overall, the agrifood sector as a total is less vulnerable to crises like the one caused by coronavirus compared to other economic sectors. However, the degree of adaptability to new conditions will determine survival of companies in agrifood sector as the new challenges will partially change the competition conditions.
          The post-COVID19 will mark a new era in agrifood production involving a number of adjacements and policies to safe guard public health and food sufficiency. A transformation path that new ICT technologies and tools would be key drivers in food production and sustainability.
          Initiatives should be introduced to protect smallholders and support short, regional supply chains. Highlighting the advantages of fast on-shelf delivery with less mediators, will not only enhance food security characteristics, but will also increase smallholders earnings, rendering small-scale high quality supply chains sustainable.
        • It is essential to place the production of local agrifood goods at the heart of the future agriculture practices, especially in the South and East of the Mediterranean Area.
        • COVID-19 will bring about changes to the behavior of each sector of the economy, including Food-farming systems. Locally in Malta the Food-farming sector has not been impacted in terms of consumer demand (this remained constant) but it has been impacted from the lack of mobilization of the workforce in the agricultural sector, some of which have been under lockdown conditions for some weeks. The full impact of the lack of production will be known in the weeks / months. Food security will need to top the agenda in the coming months to ensure that the supply meets the demand of agriculture production. A stronger focus on Governance for resilience from an Island(s) perspective within the Mediterranean region as a result of the different climatic conditions in the region can surely enhance the resilience of all member states. This would include over-arching the country’s ability to design ways to farm with resources (and conditions) the country has, as well as including new technologies that enable farmers to: harvest more water efficiently using solar powered technology and create soil from waste materials. 
        • Consumers will definitely increase the internet food shopping; also the consumers will raise their awareness of importance of domestically and locally produced food.
          Some sales channels will change. Consumers, who buy food during the crisis directly from the farmers, instead from supermarkets, will keep this habit also in the future. 
        • Markets will pick up faster than predicted; there’ll be major sufferings to certain market segments such as tourism, which will take longer time to recoup
        • Initiatives should be introduce to protect smallholders and support short, regional supply chains. Highlighting the advantages of fast on-shelf delivery with less mediators, will not only enhance food security characteristics, but will also increase smallholders earnings, rendering small-scale high quality supply chains sustainable.   
        • Many of the obstacles will be overcome if there is investments for sustainability of production systems by the  governments. Research can be advance in solution with local resources! 
        • Consumers will prefer products from countries / regions with lower incidence of Covid-19 ; Consumers will prefer vegetables that are cooked before consumption 
        • The situation with Covid-19 had been exaggerated beyond facts and many people jump into conclusions without any objective data regarding the agrifood sector which has shown remarkable resilience over the years. The agrifood sector with not be greatly affected by the covid-19 pandemic.  
        • Although the COVID19 pandemic is a major disruptor of the agrifood production and economy, still the major challenges we are facing and will face in the future are present. Emphasis should be given to create more resilient agrifood systems in conjunction with more sustainable and anthropo-centric social and economic systems. 
        • People will try to find the balance between the low price due to the economic crisis but yet as seen in Greece, fresh oranges and generally products that boost the immune system naturally, were outsold. 
        • We will face new challenges that some of them are difficult to predict and we have to ready to react accordingly in the situation. The challenges can be from the supply of first materials necessary for the agricultural production e.g. seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and other supplies, machinery, and also workers who can work on the agrifood business. In addition, trading will be affected such selling our products and buying what we need
        • COVID-19 will have only a minor impact on the agrifood chain in the long term, in contrast to other economic sectors such as tourism, which will be negatively affected for a longer period.  Overall, the agrifood sector as a total is less vulnerable to crises like the one caused by coronavirus compared to other economic sectors. However, the degree of adaptability to new conditions will determine survival of companies in agrifood sector as the new challenges will partially change the competition conditions.   
        • Τhe scenario post COVID is a reality, which will be developed differently in different areas of our planet and in different economies, although the global economy usually flattens the regional policies. The Agenda 2030 will includes future scenarios of pandemic incidents, because the major organizations (World Health Organization, FAO etc) are informed that we are about to enter the Era of great pandemics, food crisis and long-term economic crisis. Worldwide but also regional environmental policies will enforce the funding for the food safe and evaluation and new technologies will developed on the direction of the food, public health and surviving. In combination to the climate change the Mediterranean region should develop specific policies for the public health and food production (in seas and land) because this region will be the less affected from pollution and extreme weather conditions. Some decades before the scientific doctrine was (energy, health, food), but in our times the scientific doctrine becomes (food, food, food). 

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Press

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Video gallery

Angelo Riccaboni | Chair PRIMA Foundation

Enrico Granara | Coordinator Euro-Med Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Ashraf Abd ELkader | Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean

Begoña Pérez-Villarreal | EIT Food

Gilbert Gauci | Malta Council For Science & Technology

Sonia Massari | Università Roma Tre

Sara Roversi | Future Food Institute

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