In Belgium, on Friday 13 March 2020 starting at midnight, drastic measures were taken to counter the spread of COVID-19, the so-called corona virus. On 17 and 27 March, stricter rules and extensions followed. For more than a month everyone is living in a new reality. This new reality undoubtedly also exists for the agricultural sector.
The media regularly report on the consequences of corona for the food supply and for the agricultural sector: problems with the harvest, overproduction, the increasing demand for local products, changes in prices, in processing, in sales... These are elements that end up in the social debate on agriculture and food.
But what do the farmers and growers themselves currently experience? What are the positive and negative changes for their businesses in the short and medium term? How big or nuanced is the impact? Which phenomena have not yet surfaced?
Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO) will start a large-scale survey on Monday 27 April 2020, in order to collect the necessary data and figures in a scientific way. The survey will look at business shifts, as well as stress or influence on the wellbeing of farmers and their families.
In order to ensure that only truly professional companies are involved, specific, in-depth questions are included. ILVO guarantees that the answers are processed and reported strictly anonymously.
The results are made available to the agricultural and food sector. "The survey will give a more accurate picture of the socio-economic impact on the broader sector, and on certain sub-sectors. The collected data can help to formulate well-founded policy advice," says ILVO researcher Elke Rogge.
Elke Rogge (ILVO socio-economic research), Elke.Rogge@ilvo.vlaanderen.be, +32 9 272 23 64
Greet Riebbels (ILVO communication), Greet.Riebbels@ilvo.vlaanderen.be, +32 486 26 00 14