There are 22 item(s) tagged with the keyword "Coronavirus".
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This fall, I had the opportunity to sit in on several virtual roundtables with many American Feed Industry Association members talking about how they dealt with COVID-19 in their businesses and operations. I was proud to hear every participant start by saying the health and safety of their staff, customers and suppliers was, and remains, their primary focus.
As a child, I would frequently get frustrated when the world (or in this case, my parents, teachers or siblings) dictated what I couldn’t do. I had plans! One day, my favorite fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Underwood, suggested that instead of thinking about what I can’t do, that I should think about what I can do. Turns out, there was a lot!
What the food supply chain experienced in March and how it responded to an almost overnight shift in consumer demand from foodservice to home kitchens in light of the coronavirus pandemic was “nothing short of remarkable.” That was the sentiment several of the country’s leading food companies told attendees at The Wall Street Journal’s Global Food Forum on Monday.
It has been about a year since I joined the American Feed Industry Association. I can say without a doubt – it has not been the year I expected! Instead of spending my days on the road meeting AFIA’s members in their offices or at their facilities, attending events and seeing the AFIA team work with our members to deliver first-class education and networking events, or meeting in-person with elected officials and government representatives, half of the year has been spent learning a new way of doing business.
Last week, we all settled into our home office chairs to listen to industry experts discuss important issues affecting the animal food industry. As a former Seattleite, I was looking forward to seeing industry colleagues in the Emerald City this past March for the American Feed Industry Association’s Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference, which was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the webinar series that replaced it did not disappoint!
As individuals, you either like working with others or you don’t. We discover these things about ourselves during our school years and these traits develop further during our careers. As a trade association, these same behavioral tendencies also exist. Overall, I would say the U.S. animal food industry tends to play well with others. This is demonstrated by the work of American Feed Industry Association members and by AFIA’s membership in the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF).
As a farmer-owned cooperative, Land O’Lakes sees firsthand the enormous strain the coronavirus pandemic has caused for communities across rural America, and for the agriculture industry that was already reeling from trade dynamics and poor growing conditions in 2019. Like everyone else, farmers and their rural neighbors have also grappled with the dramatic shift of carrying out everyday activities via online platforms due to COVID-19. Land O’Lakes sees first-hand how the digital divide (those that have high-speed internet access, commonly known as broadband, and those that don't) has only been further exacerbated by the pandemic, making it nearly impossible for rural residents to keep up with schoolwork, business and even doctors’ appointments.
When the Animal Agriculture Alliance and the American Feed Industry Association were approached to sign onto a letter on the value of animal agriculture, neither group hesitated to fully support this initiative. We needed to say with one, loud voice – animal agriculture is not to blame for the coronavirus pandemic and in fact, we may offer an important part of the solution.
Since writing the first post on April 17 highlighting all the ways our members are giving back to their local communities throughout the COVID-19 crisis, I continued to see many more reports of our members going above and beyond. I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge all the great things these companies have done to help people during this time.
At its recent meeting, the American Feed Industry Association’s Board of Directors discussed many topics, but Scott Druker of Church & Dwight Company, the new Board chair for 2020-21, said that at the forefront was the industry’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
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