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COVID-19 Foresight Italy: The epicentre of the pandemic in Europe

Italy was one of the first European countries to be hard hit by COVID-19.

09 Feb 2021
EIT Food South

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the most pressing challenges in our complicated food system.

  • What can we do to better prepare for the ​transformation of the agrifood sector caused by coronavirus?
  • How can we grasp the opportunities that come out of the crisis and improve our food?

Being the epicentre of the pandemic in Europe, Italy suffered from one of the longest lockdowns wich affected significantly the national economy. These have been the most significant outputs in Italy:

Strikes by migrant workers in the South of Italy and delivery drivers countrywide due to safety problems and lack of rights created visibility for these groups. The government facilitated access to permits for migrant workers in order to regularise their rural workforce.

“Not all has been bad. It gave us an opportunity to see how much mechanisation could be developed” Daniele Rossi, Research & Innovation Delegate at Confagricoltura

Remote work is here to stay. Proportion of workers who started teleworking as a result of COVID-19 in Italy is the highest of Europe:

Farmers attempted to diversify with direct selling, online platforms, consumer associations and direct contact with retail but the complexity of these strategies hinders their long-term sustainability.

In Italy, the adoption of e-commerce has accelerated by two years, grocery e-commerce will remain strong post-COVID

As the EU Commission stated, strategic foresights will play a key role in helping future-proof EU policymaking by ensuring that short-term initiatives are grounded in a longer-term perspective. The EIT Food Strategic Foresight Analysis outlines how COVID-19 has affected the agrifood system in Europe, what the possible future scenarios are and how we can use the opportunities that come out of this pandemic.

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