If 2020 has taught us one thing, it is that people, animals and the economy remain vulnerable. The world became acquainted with COVID-19, and African swine fever remained a major concern for the agricultural and animal feed sectors.
Johan den Hartog
Managing Director, GMP+ International
It is fair to say that 2020 has been a difficult year. A tough year. We have all experienced the painful consequences of lockdowns and social distancing in the fight against the coronavirus – if not in business terms, then personally.
Fortunately, that isn't the whole story. 2020 was the year in which we had to accept restrictions in the interest of public health, but that meant it was also a year in which we were all in the same boat. This created a special form of togetherness, across borders. It was also a year in which we searched for solutions together, and discovered that, thanks to technological progress, working together can sometimes also be done remotely.
As with many other organisations, COVID-19 has given a boost to digital services at GMP+ International. Company audits have been conducted remotely, webinars and e-learnings of the GMP+ Academy have been rolled out more quickly and contacts with stakeholders have mostly taken place digitally. Of course there were challenges involved, but in 2020 our global feed safety community continued to grow.
Because of COVID-19, we had to postpone the Global Feed Safety Summit and the launch of our updated certification scheme. The summit is now scheduled for 2022 and the updated scheme – which has just been accredited at European level – will be introduced next March.
With a new year ahead of us and coronavirus vaccines on the way, we can look to the future with cautious optimism again. The coronavirus once again underscores the importance of safety and safe working – and how quickly things can go wrong if we don't get viruses under control.
That is why we will be investing even more time and effort in sharing knowledge in the time to come. In addition to the revised certification scheme, we are also launching the updated GMP+ Academy and adding more depth to our Feed Support Products in order to tailor them even better to the requirements of the market. We will be focusing more strongly on sustainability and regional sourcing.
As you can see, despite the pandemic and all the associated restrictions, we are not standing still and are always looking to improve our services. You can count on us again in 2021. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2021, during which we will continue to work together for Feed Safety Worldwide.