Brussels, 9 June 2020/OACPS: The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) in collaboration with the Europe, Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP), hosted the first Information Session on the Impact of COVID 19 on the agri-food production and supplies sector in Members States on 9 June 2020. In addition to looking at matters pertaining to the pandemic, participants at the Meeting also addressed the new European Union (EU) Organic Regulation, the outcome of the consultations on the UK Global Tariff and the ongoing consultation on the General Scheme of Tariff Preferences of the EU.

Regarding the impact of the Pandemic, COLEACP presented the main challenges and opportunities for the industry, their COVID-19 action plan as well as the feedback received from the industry across the Members of the OACPS. Also discussed in the session were issues focused on (i) disruption in production, logistics and transport affecting supply chains and the need to reorient production to nearer markets; (ii) the necessity for economic and social stimulus packages, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and smallholders; (iii) labour shortages and unemployment due to lockdowns, curfews and sickness of workers; (iv) decrease in demand and spending on fresh food leading to deteriorating food and nutrition security status across regions; (v) the use of digital tools and the need to sustain and upscale across the OACPS through investment in infrastructure, regulatory frameworks and fiscal incentives; and (vi) health and safety guidelines in the food chain and the need for intergovernmental and regional protocols.

The Secretariat of the OACPS and COLEACP will continue to monitor and update Member States on developments regarding the pandemic, the EU regulations, Brexit and the outcome of the EU’s consultations on the General Scheme of Preferences (EU GSP).

For more information, see:

Working documents – Report, Powerpoint