Covid-19 wird das Agrar- und Lebensmittelsystem verändern – aber wie?

Translated title of the contribution: Covid-19 will Change the Agri-food System – but how?

Krijn Poppe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted vulnerabilities in the agri-food system and wider society. The elderly, in particular, have been overrepresented in intensive care units. The resulting economic crisis and accelerating geopolitical shifts will change the agri-food system, but it is unclear how this will play out in detail. Two factors are important to consider: will societal priorities change and will the state become more interventionist? We examine these uncertainties via four scenarios from a Dutch perspective. ‘Business as usual’ is realistic if the crises are short and manageable. ‘Government Control’ is more state interventionist, after several decades of neo-liberalism, with a greater focus on the economy and employment as the agri-food system is confronted with a long recession. ‘Regional Communities’ is where there is a long period of echo-pandemics, in which a flourishing community spirit, the attention to nature and a healthy living environment with healthy food are permanent and short supply chains and multifunctional agriculture gain ground. In ‘Green High-Tech Transformation’, the most extreme scenario, the state and technical innovation take on a much larger role in society and our views on our lifestyle change. These trends reinforce each other and the government is tasked with creating a new economy. The scenarios are not predictions but can be used to structure thought and discussion on the way forward.

Translated title of the contributionCovid-19 will Change the Agri-food System – but how?
Original languageGerman
Number of pages6
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Oct 2020

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