Lessons learned from Covid-19 pandemic highlighted in new animal health report
The animal health industry needs to be better prepared for disruptions like Covid-19 and have resiliency plans in place to handle supply and demand.
This is the ‘lessons learned’ message from Agri-EPI’s Chief Executive Dave Ross in a new report exploring the impact of Covid-19 on the global animal health industry.
The production of Animal Health Industry Response to COVID-19 and the Rise of Telemedicine was co-ordinated by Kisaco Research. It seeks to assess the full impact of the outbreak across the sector, and provide insight in the form of industry surveys, data collection, discussions, and interviews with market leaders and emerging companies.
Dave was one of 55 contributing experts from around the world. He comments in the report on labour shortages and the skills gap from COVID and Brexit, the issue of food protectionism and overall lessons learned from the advent of the pandemic.
On the latter point, Dave says that the pandemic has exposed the fragility of the food supply chain when a disruptor comes into the market and highlighted the lack of preparations companies and suppliers had to pivot to other markets.
He cites in the report the example of the UK dairy sector, where 35 million litres of milk were being produced a day, pre-Covid. A significant proportion of the approximately 10 million litres destined for the service sector ended up being wasted when demand stopped abruptly due to lockdown. This led to a subsequent price collapse, with the current system ‘not being able to turn off the tap’ on supply.
Dave also highlights how the crisis has brought a renewed focus on the need to reduce food waste, with 9.5 million tons of food being lost each year in the UK.
The report coincides with Animal Health Investment USA, a large scale event on 12 and 13 October connecting businesses and investors around opportunities in the animal health industry. Dave sits on the event’s Global Advisory Board.