St. Petersburg, Russia – June 3 – At the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Sergey Mikhailov, CEO of Cherkizovo Group, took part in Rospotrebnadzor's panel discussion “Is the New Normal a Temporary or Permanent Phenomenon?”
The panellists included Anna Popova, Head of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing, Chief State Sanitary Physician of the Russian Federation; Alexander Kalinin, President, All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses OPORA RUSSIA; Sergey Mikhailov, CEO of Cherkizovo Group; Victoria Panova, Vice-Rector for International Relations, Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU); Mikhail Piotrovsky, General Director, The State Hermitage Museum; and Andrey Grachev, Vice President for Federal and Regional Programs, Nornickel.
As part of his appearance, Sergey Mikhailov noted that the situation surrounding COVID-19 was an extraordinary one, but as opposed to a host of other industries, meat and other food producers could not just shut down. According to Cherkizovo’s CEO, the Company had to change its business processes and make an enormous effort to continue production during the pandemic.
On a separate note, Sergey Mikhailov highlighted Rospotrebnadzor’s role in resolving issues facing businesses that arose over the course of the pandemic. “We felt that Rospotrebnadzor did not just act as a regulator, but also as a business partner, which guided and directed us,” noted Sergey Mikhailov. He also added that agricultural businesses were slightly better prepared for COVID-19 than other companies, since epidemics and viruses are a familiar hazard for the industry, as the outbreaks of African Swine Fever and Bird Flu have demonstrated. “It was obvious that we needed a very firm and highly pragmatic approach. Most importantly, what we managed to do, was avoid significant losses and prevent a halt in production,” summarised Cherkizovo's CEO.
According to Anna Popova, the year of the pandemic has taught us a great deal. The new infection will continue to be studied, and Rospotrebnadzor is confident that no major additional restrictions will be needed. She added that it was impossible to predict how long restrictions would continue, as much will depend on the vaccination rate, as well as how carefully people observe anti-epidemic measures.
According to recent research by the World Economic Forum and Ipsos, expectations as to when we will see a return to something resembling “the pre-COVID normal” vary greatly across the world. On average, 59% of people expect that the situation will settle over the next 12 months, one in five feel that it will take more than three years, while 8% do not think that we will ever reach this point.
People in various countries also have significantly different outlooks. In Saudi Arabia, Russia, India, and China, over 70% of the adult population expect that life will return to normal over the course of the year. In Japan, 80% of people think the pandemic will last longer. In France, Italy, South Korea, and Spain, more than half of those surveyed feel that returning to normality will take longer than a year, and that we need to learn to live in a new way.