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Pandemic Creates Challenges and Opportunities for Food and Beverage Sector
Craig Klemmer - Farm Credit Canada

Farmscape for April 8, 2021

A just released Farm Credit Canada report shows the global pandemic has resulted in losses but it has also created new opportunities for Canada's food and beverage sector.
The FCC Food and Beverage Report 2021 examines opportunities within Canada’s food and beverage sector amid challenges created by the global pandemic.
Farm Credit Canada Principle Economist Craig Klemmer says 2020 was a roller coaster year with the pandemic disrupting supply chains and export markets and prompting the closure of food service but the industry has done a really good job of adjusting to these challenges.

Clip-Craig Klemmer-Farm Credit Canada:
The industry has made significant investments into their operations to ensure that line speeds can remain as efficient as possible.
They've made investments into protective equipment for their employees to ensure that our food supply system is safe and reliable.
When we think about the marketing arm of it, the closure of food service has meant packaging had to change.
The distribution challenges change, whether you were selling at farmers markets, selling to restaurants, those were disrupted due to the closures so there's a lot more online marketing and direct to customers, in some instances adjusting those packaging sizes to make sure that they get into grocery stores and other food distribution systems and that's really allowed the industry to weather the storm better than other parts.
If we look at overall food and beverage manufacturing, the industry did decline slightly but we did overall, from the GDP perspective, much better than the Canadian economy overall.
I think that really highlights how the industry has done and why we see some optimism there and speaking to that resiliency of what the industry has been able to do to get through the pandemic and remain on a relatively strong footing given all of these challenges, disruptions and uncertainty that has been caused due to the pandemic for agriculture and food in general.

Klemmer says, while food manufacturing sales did decline last year, we're expecting a rebound in 2021 as economies slowly open up but, he cautions, the pandemic continues to create challenges which could restrict some of those opportunities.
For more visit Farmscape.Ca.
Bruce Cochrane.

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