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Foresight on the impact of COVID-19

Foresight on the impact of COVID-19

Future-proof or future ready? Learn how COVID-19 will transform the agrifood sector in Central, Eastern and South Europe!

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?

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.

The findings of the “EIT Food Strategic Foresight Analysis on how COVID-19 has affected agrifood system in South and Central Eastern Europe” are very timely and will be very useful to help the Commission to design new support measures. To start with, they will provide valuable information for the preparations of the first biannual Work Programme of Horizon Europe (...). This will include also investment in five Horizon Europe Missions, including a Mission on Soil Health and Food. I am convinced that agrifood sector in Europe will have a brilliant future full of opportunities if we work together to take full advantage of them. - Mariya GABRIEL, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

Key insights from South and Central European countries will be shared in the following areas:

  • Primary production
  • Food manufacturing and supply chain
  • Retail
  • HoReCa
  • Consumer habits

Download the CEE Foresight

Download the South Foresight

Follow the discussion


Greeting Statement from Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

Read the Commisioner's Letter


Explore the expert's comments on the impact of COVID-19 on the agrifood sector.



Check out our other COVID-19 related projects:


Future-proof or future-ready?

Opportunities arising from COVID-19 for Agrifood in Southern and Central-Eastern Europe - Launch of the Food Foresight

Join the Launch

Future of Food 2020

The Future of Food Conference, EIT Food’s annual event, returns this year as a virtual event.


About EIT Food RIS

The EIT Food RIS strategy focuses on enhancing development within the agrifood sector by implementing activities related to innovation, education, business creation and communication in RIS countries and regions. This outreach scheme is open to students, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and consumers and it’s aimed at upgrading their skills and taking full advantage of their creativity.

Learn more about RIS


CEE Foresight Analysis

The CEE Food Foresight was based on the macroeconomic analysis, brainstorming sessions with experts, interviews with academic, business, and research partners from 12 countries in the CEE region: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. 

The agrifood industry analysis per country includes the influence of various scenarios of pandemic development on each part of the food value chain. While establishing the foresight matrix we took into account economic and public factors.

The aim of the project is two-fold:

  • identifying the influence of COVID-19 on specific areas within the agrifood industries of each country. We understand impact here as both: impact that has already occurred, and impact that may continue to arise into 2021.
  • providing policy recommendations and specific actions that can be taken either at the EU or national level to best combat this adverse impact and capture potential opportunities in the short and long-term.

The final product of the research is a comprehensive report covering the region as a whole, as well as each analysed country separately. It will serve as a tool:

  • to determine, prioritize, and coordinate efforts made by EIT Food as an EU innovation partnership, its partners and other key stakeholders in the countries where we operate.
  • to inform EU and national policymakers on the current situation of the agrifood industry in specific countries and the actions that need to be taken to best combat the adverse effects of COVID-19 and capture potential opportunities.

What are the future scenarios for the CEE region? Download the CEE Food Foresight and country reports HERE

South Foresight Analysis

This analysis aims to help to envision foresight scenarios that allow key stakeholders (South EU industry players, startups, research centers and universities) to better understand the post COVID-19 world, in order to develop strategies that shape and influence the future itself, thereby reinforcing the strength of the agrifood sector in the countries that participate in the project: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta and Cyprus.

It is fundamental to understand the challenges and paradigm shifts that the agrifood sector will experience. In our opinion, here are some of these challenges (and opportunities):

  • Consumer habits and behaviors will change in the short-medium term, and potentially some will be integrated on a normal basis.
  • Value chain and supply networks: the capacity to operate with a stable providers network.
  • Research, Innovation and Technology.

We have worked with a multiple approach to gather those ‘future signals and trends’ that allow to understand the new reality envision scenarios:  

  • Desk research, editorial & advisory board, and expert interviews for a first deep dive phase
  • Analyzing the data in order to generate insights and conclusions at a country level on a sense making and scenario building phase
  • Communicating the results so stakeholders can understand the scenarios, generate debate and awareness, and take the right steps at a country and regional level.

What are the future scenarios for the South region?

Download South Foresight Analysis

Project Lead

Aleksandra Niżyńska

EIT Food


Project Manager

Contact details

Lara Rodríguez

EIT Food


Project Manager

Contact details

Related projects

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EIT Food Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) implements the “EIT Food RIS Strategy, 2018-2020”.

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EIT Food RIS Solutions

EIT Food RIS Solutions

EIT Food RIS Solutions is aimed at engaging student groups with multi-disciplinary backgrounds, from RIS countries and of all educational levels, to work jointly on problem cases responding to agrifood challenges in RIS countries.

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