As part of the virtual Royal Welsh Show, the Farmers’ Union of Wales is hosting a seminar to explore the lessons the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us when it comes to food and our supply chains, what measures need to be put in place to safeguard food producers and consumers and examine if local strategies with a global outlook are the key to food security.
Joining the virtual conversation on Tuesday 21 July are Carmarthen County Council Corporate Policy & Partnership Manager, Gwyneth Ayers; Principal Investigator of IKnowFood Professor Bob Doherty; Cardiff University Professor of Governance and Development Kevin Morgan and Food and Drink Wales Deputy Head of Food David Morris.
FUW President Glyn Roberts, who is chairing the event, said: “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Welsh food producers and the dangers of trade and rural support policies which undermine UK food security have starkly come to the fore over recent months.
“Covid-19 hit all sectors of life and was met with panic buying and empty supermarket shelves. However, it wasn’t luxury items that the general public rushed to get their hands on but the essentials like food.
“For many years the FUW has stressed that food security is an issue that needs desperate attention and the last few months have served to illustrate such concerns. I therefore look forward to discussing these and some other very pertinent issues with our panel of experts and hope many of you will join us online for this webinar.”
Professor Bob Doherty said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed some of the vulnerabilities of our UK Food System. We need a proper collaborative plan that focuses on health, economics and the environment that brings together government (national, regional and local) the private sector, the research community and civil society.”
Professor Kevin Morgan said: “If COVID-19 has taught us anything it is the value of foundational services such as health, social care and food security. In Wales we have a need (because of high levels of poverty) and a duty (because of our Well-being of Future Generations Act) to set a high priority on good food for all. It is time we used our public procurement policies to source more Welsh food in our public institutions.”
Gwyneth Ayers said: “Public bodies have played a significant role in the response to the pandemic and we will also have a key role in supporting, and where necessary, leading the recovery. Localism will be at the heart of our economic and community recovery from COVID-19.”
David Morris said: “Food producers in Wales have a product offering that works at local, regional, all Wales, UK and global levels which is why the sector presents so many opportunities for both new and established businesses.”
To join the webinar on Tuesday 21 July, at 11am, please register here: https://royalwelsh.digital/food-supply-chains-and-production-global-outlook-with-a-local-strategy-what-has-covid-19-taught-us/