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Adjusting business models to sustain agri-food enterprises during COVID-19

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Across the world the COVID-19 crisis is compromising agri-enterprises’ ability to continue business as usual and, in some cases, is threatening the survival of some firms beyond the crisis, particularly small businesses comprised of farm enterprises, traders, food manufacturers, distributors and retailers across food chains. The brief highlights the critical role that these companies play in maintaining functioning food systems during the crisis. Recommendations target a mix of ministries, public institutions, food industry associations, local business service providers and chambers of commerce.

Recommendations are structured around the components that agri-enterprises need to manage on a day-to-day basis, namely: strategic management and partnerships to leverage collective support; management of financial resources, including liquidity/cash, assets and credit on a daily, weekly and monthly basis; human resources, which refer to the staff and people the company depends on to get the job done; and, marketing and sales, which addresses how a company targets and communicates with its customers during the crisis.

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