A Time to Pause and Give Thanks
By Michelle Pelletier Marshall, Women in Agribusiness (November 24, 2020)
Never before has the importance of food and providing sustenance to all been at the forefront of thought for so many millions as it has been in 2020. A global pandemic, untold droughts, a Midwest derecho, hurricanes, and wildfires – mother nature has tested the strength and tenacity of many, especially those “essential” workers who feed the world.
And while it is now a well-told story that COVID-19 exposed the inefficiencies in the global food supply chain, it is a fortuitous result that multiple businesses – agribusinesses, technology conglomerates, and entrepreneurs alike – are pushing the envelope on innovation to develop systems, products, and tools to recalibrate the supply chain into a seamless, streamlined process. A process, mind you, that is already incredibly efficient, where the world’s farmers produce enough food to feed the 10 billion we will become by 2050.
Yet, we need to disrupt systems to redirect the 52 million tons of food that goes wasted globally each year, or the 10 million tons of food that is not even harvested due to timing or labor shortages, and we need to embrace change – perhaps in the way we share our food, cook our food, and create it, in order to provide for all of humankind, where estimates indicate that one in eight Americans faces food insecurity.1
So on this Thanksgiving holiday, we are grateful to all who provide this great nation (and the world) with food so plentiful, rich, and available – even during unforeseen times. The Women in Agribusiness team expresses its gratitude for what we have, and know that by pulling together, the gift of tomorrow will come to fruition.
This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Bill Keane “Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present.”
With that, I hope you enjoy your “present” of a Thanksgiving filled with laughs and warmth in the company of loved ones, whether in-person or virtually, and a cornucopia of foods that are a reminder of just how resilient the agriculture industry can be when tested.
All the best,
Michelle Pelletier Marshall
WIA Today Editor