We hope that you are in good health and that COVID has spared you, your families and those around you. This month of May is at last starting to show a few positive and encouraging signs. While COVID is still very much out there and the strictest vigilance should be observed, many countries are now starting to come out of lockdown. The return to “business as usual” will undoubtedly be a long and gradual process, and we invite everyone to exercise caution and follow all the recommended safety guidance.
Will life go back to “how it used to be”? That’s entirely up to us! This period of forced retreat will undoubtedly leave a lasting mark on us all. It is up to everyone to make their contribution to building tomorrow's world. In this respect, "Own the Change", the central theme of the next edition of SIAL Paris announced several months ago, resonates all the more strongly. It will be an opportunity for the entire industry to share and develop what tomorrow's world will be like: What food for tomorrow? How can we feed the planet in a healthy and sustainable way? What balances should there be between globalization and regionalism?
While questions are understandably being asked as to whether we will be able to meet up in several months’ time, we wish to remain resolutely optimistic and mobilized to offer our companies the export springboard they so badly need to rekindle their business. The uncertainties that are still hanging over us today should gradually lift at the same pace as lockdown is loosened. The French government has already given the go-ahead for the resumption of events from early September. This is good news for the food industry. Although most companies have continued to operate, they have nonetheless been weakened by the crisis and urgently need to reconnect with their commercial networks around the world. We are therefore actively continuing to prepare for the major events of the second half of the year. This still leaves us several months to closely monitor how the pandemic evolves and - we hope with all our heart –as it gradually disappears. Whatever happens, SIAL remains driven by a sense of commitment and responsibility, and will take all the measures that prove to be necessary according to circumstances: the public health situation in France and abroad, the re-opening of borders, the reestablishment of air travel, etc. We will keep you regularly informed and hope to be able to present by mid-July at the latest (3 months before the exhibition) a complete schedule of the event in order to give everyone enough time to get themselves organised.
Coming at the end of 6 months of quiet business, SIAL Paris will constitute, perhaps more significantly than ever, the major global event for the industry from 18 to 22 October 2020: as a catalyst for business and an acknowledged melting pot for worldwide innovation, SIAL Paris will kick off the recovery of food exports all over the world.
We are carefully preparing a range of different "public health" scenarios so as to be able to welcome everyone in the safest conditions. The measures implemented will naturally comply with official rules and are likely to evolve according to circumstances. Numerous measures are being studied, some more technical and linked to the rigorous management of flows, some more visible and directly linked to the implementation of barrier gestures: wearing of masks, systematic hand washing (hand sanitizer), disinfection and ventilation of spaces, badge digitalisation, a temperature-taking gantry... We are also studying special arrangements to organise tastings specific to our sector: individual portions and packaging, slicing on demand, hermetically-sealed dustbins, etc. Finally, access to the exhibition centre (cars, taxis, RER) will be governed by the measures put in place by the Ile de France regional authority.
The watchword here will undoubtedly be agility: working together, we will succeed in organising this major global food industry meeting. Your continued support is extremely valuable and vital to us. Please stay in touch!
See you very soon,
Directeur SIAL Network