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Consultation meeting of the AMIS Rapid Response Forum

28 May 2020

While international markets of basic food commodities appear to be functioning smoothly, there is growing concern regarding the broader food security implications of the COVID-19 crisis. Against this background, the outgoing AMIS Chair Brazil, in close consultation with the incoming Chair EU and the AMIS Secretariat, decided to hold a consultation meeting of the AMIS Rapid Response Forum (RRF). The meeting, which was the first of its kind since AMIS was created in 2011, was held on 28 May 2020.

In their 21 April discussions, G20 Ministers of Agriculture re-confirmed the important role of AMIS in monitoring global food markets and called on AMIS to actively support the G20 in identifying options to help safeguard global food security. This consultation meeting was the first step in this regard, so results can feed back into the next ministerial meeting in September. More targeted actions will be considered depending on the evolution of the crisis.

Meeting participants agreed that the global food supply situation at present is broadly comfortable, despite some spot areas of concern such as continued dry conditions in the EU and parts of Ukraine. In addition, the ongoing desert locust outbreak in East Africa and parts of South Asia is threatening local grain production. Regarding transport and processing, the meeting concluded that for many of the challenges that had appeared earlier in the pandemic, countries were mostly able to identify innovative solutions to keep processing and moving food. However, some sectors such as meat have been disproportionately affected, which will need to be monitored closely going forward. Finally, meeting participants voiced great concern regarding the impact of the anticipated economic shock on food and agriculture, including people's food security situation.