Moscow, Russia – May 20 – Rustam Khafizov, Head of Cherkizovo Group’s Analysis Center (Petelinka and Cherkizovo brands) took part in an online conference with other experts and key players in the Russian food market to discuss the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.
COVID-19 has devastated economies worldwide, negatively impacting on the food market and hitting hard on people's purchasing power. This was the general consensus among the participants of the online conference Food Industry in Crisis: Are Reforms In Order? The event was organized by the Council for the Development of the Consumer Market under the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Commission on the Development of the Consumer Market under the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Public Council and the Platforma Center for Social Design.
The conference brought together representatives from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the Retail Companies Association (ACORT), X5 Retail Group, Magnit, OZON, Danone, PepsiCo and others. The participants shared their business experience in the wake of the pandemic, discussed the main challenges facing their companies and ways of tackling them. They also addressed government measures taken to support the food industry.
Cherkizovo Group was represented by the Company’s Chief Analyst Rustam Khafizov, who spoke about the impact of COVID-19 on the food industry. In his comments, Mr Khafizov noted that the pandemic has already caused a significant decline in real disposable income of the population, with surveys indicating that more than a third of Russians are having to save money on food.
Speaking about the comprehensive support measures for the food industry being developed by the federal and regional authorities to tackle the consequences of the coronavirus, he called for the inclusion of targeted food aid initiatives in the support package. This idea was first floated in April by a number of Russian industry associations. “We believe this a very pressing issue that needs to be discussed across the food industry,” Mr Khafizov said.
Cherkizovo Group has previously supported the idea of providing targeted food assistance to disadvantaged groups by offering them groceries and other essential products. The Company believes the initiative could help jump-start the economy by boosting sales, launching new production facilities, creating jobs, and increasing tax revenues.