In line with the UN approach to “build back better” post COVID-19, and in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the new programme aims to mitigate the immediate impacts of the pandemic while strengthening the longer-term resilience of food systems and livelihoods. “We cannot employ a ‘business as usual’ approach anymore,” highlighted FAO Director-General QU Dongyu in his opening remarks, adding that “We must work very hard to limit COVID-19’s damaging effects on food security and nutrition. We need to be more country-driven, innovative and work closely hand in hand. This is how FAO has built its COVID-19 comprehensive response and recovery programme, and today we are asking you to join us.”

SOURCE: FAO

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After the volume of merchandise trade shrank by 3% year-on-year in the first quarter, estimates for the second quarter – when lockdown measures affected the largest share of the global population – show a drop of 18.5%. “These declines are historically large, but could have been much worse,” the WTO says on its website. The organization’s April forecast predicted trade could fall by 32% in a worst-case scenario. Even so, there are risks to the outlook, including a second wave of COVID‑19, weaker economic growth, and governments imposing trade restrictions.

SOURCE. World Economic Forum

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The ubiquitous face mask does more than protect against viral spread; it also changes the way we look at one another—and thus symbolizes the mystery of customer behavior in the pandemic. Several new McKinsey research efforts analyze the changes taking place in the homes of consumers, on their phones, and in stores. “Reimagining marketing in the next normal,” for example, documents six of the biggest shifts emerging from COVID-19. One of the most intriguing is the rising importance of neighborhoods: with travel largely shut down, marketers must figure out how to localize their outreach.

SOURCE: Mc Kinsey

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According to the food sector related to industry workers, they do not have the opportunity to work from home and are required to continue to work in their usual workplaces. Keeping all workers healthy and safe in the food manufacturing plant and supply chain is critical to surviving the current pervasive. Maintaining the transportation of food is an essential function to which all stakeholders along the food chain need to contribute. This is also required to maintain trust and consumer stratification in the safety and availability of food.

SOURCE: FNB News

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The pandemic has focused attention on how dependent we all are on what happens in other parts of the world for the products we use every day. As businesses look to reinvigorate their operations after the crisis, current innovations in sustainability certification can help build more resilient supply chains through a stronger focus on continuous improvement, transparency and shared responsibility. Here are three ways to do just that.

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has joined other multilateral development banks and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in a drive to provide urgently needed support for trade during the coronavirus crisis. The pandemic has led to a devastating economic downturn. International trade has been affected by a reduction in the supply of trade finance. Insufficient trade finance threatens to compromise otherwise-viable trade transactions.

SOURCE: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

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The United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed convened and opened the Recover Better Together Action Forum this morning. Over 300 participants, 40 speakers, including Ministers of Finance, International Cooperation and Foreign Affairs, ambassadors and partners from the private sector and civil society shared their experience in dealing with the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 and committed to recover better from the crisis. Heads of UN agencies, funds and programmes and Resident Coordinators leading the UN’s COVID-19 response and recovery on the ground also articulated the UN’s offer across different dimensions of the COVID-19 response and shared early results of the UN’s work with national and local authorities to protect lives and livelihoods.

SOURCE: CNBC Africa

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) joins the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and other partner organisations to launch a major survey to understand the unique challenges faced by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in least-developed countries (LDCs).

SOURCE: International Chamber of Commerce

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Long queues outside essential services establishments, strained supply chains, rapidly shifting customer purchase patterns, wildly disconnected demand-supply requirements; these are just some of the visible impacts of the current COVID-19 situation in India. Disruptions to supply chains have been unprecedented in their scale and severity, and these are further amplified when the underlying supply chain is global in nature.

The current situation has truly brought to forefront the interconnectivity and interdependency that exists in every aspect of our lives, but nowhere else has this been more acutely felt than in the global supply chain. In this article, we highlight some of the expected changes and deliberate on impending issues in the supply chain industry in the ‘COVIDian’ era, from both customer and business perspectives.

SOURCE: Business Today

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the business environment for many organizations around the globe, and has highlighted the importance of being able to react, adapt and set up crisis management mechanisms in order to weather situations of uncertainty. As the acute restrictions and lockdowns created many urgent situations that required immediate attention in the early days of the pandemic, many companies have now begun to move to a “recovery mode” and have started planning for the longer term. As companies seek to strengthen operations and business resilience, the importance of supply chain resilience and risk management is more apparent than ever.

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

Image credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir