Agriculture is approaching the breaking point: the European Green Deal, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, the ongoing process of digitalization and the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis will fundamentally change the perception of productivity, sustainability and technology in the agri-food industry. The main trends in the sector will be discussed in detail at the International AgriFood Forum 2020, which will take place remotely on 26-27 November. The event is designed for business, decision makers, farmers and anyone interested in the prospects in this area. Participation in the forum is free of charge, but due to the limited number of people who can join, pre-registration is required.
The organizers of the event – the AgriFood Lithuania DIH and the European Parliament (EP) Liaison Office in Lithuania – emphasize that decisions made today will determine the long-term future of agricultural and food industry. “At the end of October, the European Parliament voted in favor of making the agricultural policy of the EU more flexible, sustainable and resilient to crises. MEPs will seek to ensure that a significant proportion of support is dedicated to combating climate change and ensuring biodiversity. In the past, The European Parliament has advocated solutions that reduce the use of fertilizers and antibiotics in food production and shorten the food supply chain. In the near future, the funds of the Economic Recovery Fund should reach Europe. These funds can become the basis for the transformation towards a more sustainable agriculture and food production,” Daiva Jakaitė, the Head of the EP Liaison Office in Lithuania, explained.
According to Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė, the Managing Director of the AgriFood Lithuania DIH, the pandemic has brought many changes and Europe has to respond urgently. Digital transformation proposed by the European Commission has become a key response to the crisis, which will make countries and businesses, determined enough to seize this opportunity, more sustainable and stronger than ever before.
Speakers of the forum – leaders from all over Europe
Today, the topic of the AgriFood Forum 2020 is more relevant than ever before. A great proof of this is the list of speakers, which consist of leading European and Lithuanian experts, politicians, entrepreneurs and decision-makers from the European Commission. It includes Members of the European Parliament Juozas Olekas, Bronis Ropė and Petros Kokkalis, the President of the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists Vidmantas Janulevičius, the Director of the EIT Food Consortium Marja-Liisa Meurice, the President of the European Clusters Alliance Antonio Novo Guerrero, the Managing Partner of the Iron Wolf Capital Venture Capital Fund Kasparas Jurgelionis, CEOs of Agrokoncernas, Dojus Agro, Scandagra Baltic and many others. The full list of speakers is available on the official forum website.
According to Grigoris Chatzikostas, one of the moderators of the AgriFood Forum 2020 and the co-pioneer of Digital Innovation Hubs in Europe, COVID-19 tested the resilience of our food systems but it also accelerated the adoption of game-changing technologies. G. Chatzikostas believes that this forum is a meeting space where different actors of food ecosystems – farmers, technology developers, entrepreneurs, food chain suppliers, decision-makers and consumers – can reach an agreement, make decisions and take actions in order to transform the agri-food sector and create a greener, more sustainable and prosperous future.
Focus on Europe and Lithuania
The AgriFood Forum 2020 will take place on 26-27 November. The first day of the event will focus on decisions and strategies of the EU, and on the second day the future of the Lithuanian agri-food industry will be in the spotlight. The number of people who can join is limited, so those wishing to participate are encouraged to register in advance.
This forum is a continuation of the International Agro Business Forum held in Vilnius City Hall in 2019, during which a memorandum was signed. The purpose of the Memorandum was to promote further cooperation between different actors of the agri-food ecosystem, to form an infrastructure supporting the development of digital innovations in Lithuania and to ensure the necessary funding.