Dmitry Krasnov: The pandemic has put food security first in many countries
Dmitry Krasnov, Head of the federal center Agroexport, drew the attention of experts to the fact that today the production and sales of food substitutes, which, unlike meat and milk, are perceived by some consumers as healthier food products, are actively developing all over the world.
According to the expert, the process of digitalization and robotization of agriculture has accelerated in the world, which has become a natural response to the restrictions on labor migration. He also noted that until 2020, the forecasting and evaluation of changes in agricultural production and sales volumes were usually based on long-term trends. But the pandemic has led to a situation where change can happen at any moment.
‘We live in a world where the changes that we expect in a few years can happen within a year,’ said the head. ‘Our main task is to look at these events from the point of view of changes in the structure of the food market, which supply chains to build and how to resist poorly predicted events.
The speaker clarified that at the beginning of 2020, the main difficulties were associated with the sea delivery of food, when carriers faced quarantine, which increased the time for loading and unloading ships. This was the first stage of a serious crisis. However, the global agricultural industry managed to cope with it quickly.
‘Today we see the return of world trade to the previous conditions, but the changes that have occurred, are, as it seems to me, long-term,’ said the expert. ‘We see that there are new trends -food at home. Millions of people have returned to eating homemade food. There was a redistribution between sales channels. Many importing countries have increased their food reserves to feed their populations in the event of a global lockdown.
The head of Agroexport focused on the changes in the structure and dynamics of the growth of online sales of certain types of products during the pandemic. According to him, the sales of perishable products especially increased – by 27%, frozen - by 25%. Home delivery received a serious boost. It increased in the category of non-perishable products by 13%, and frozen products - by 20%.
According to preliminary estimates, the volume of global electronic sales of food products in 2020 amounted to 420 billion US dollars.
‘If we talk about the current state of consumer demand, its recovery is uneven and 35% of consumers continue to save on food,’ commented the speaker. ‘Only 31% of the population keeps spending at the pre-pandemic level. A quarter of households increase their spending only on health-related food categories that are important to them.
According to the expert, the pandemic has increased the demand for healthy food, and, of course, this trend will continue. People choose products that boost the immune system. This is also reflected, among other things, in Russian exports.
‘Summing up the main trends that the pandemic has intensified, we can conclude how important it is to build supply channels for agricultural raw materials, logistics and a safe distribution system,’ the head concluded. –
Food security has come out on top in many countries around the world. The process of digitalization and robotization of agriculture has accelerated, which has become a natural response to the restrictions on labor migration.