Message from the IFEAT Executive Chairman
Dear IFEAT Member,
In these uncertain times, I wanted to reach out to you personally.
As the situation around novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, communities are taking precautions to mitigate further spread of the virus. As a Member of IFEAT, you trust us to not only act in the best interest of the Membership but to do so safely and responsibly. We want you to know IFEAT has taken steps to minimise the spread of the disease to IFEAT Members, staff and Committee members by suspending site visits and postponing the June 2020 India Study Tour.
This is an extraordinary situation that is new to everyone, with lots of open questions that we, the IFEAT Executive Committee, and our service providers, still don’t know the answers to. We have been monitoring the situation closely and we are committed to doing the best for our Members and to openly inform you on the steps we are taking with regards to future events, including the 2020 Berlin Conference and its registration opening date.
The continuing updates on the COVID-19 are coupled with reports of uncertain economic times. For some of our Members, the situation resulted in a boom in business but for others, the impact is bleak. To name just one instance, disruptions in logistics can result in a lack of certain inputs or simply exorbitant delivery charges. These circumstances can severely hamper smaller suppliers and those that find themselves on the frontlines of the pandemic.
Trying times can result in a slacking of business ethics and professional conduct. Though we all hope that a crisis never befalls your company, it is a good idea to build up a bank of goodwill – acting honourably and transparently, re-communicating a sense of your values and the benefits to your suppliers, employees, customers and other key audiences.
The COVID-19 outbreak is a fast-moving story in just about every sector of society and it is hard to predict the impact on our community. Globally, we have every reason to believe that the situation will get worse before it gets better. I am concerned about the ramifications on IFEAT Members.
However, I also believe that it is in challenging times like these that the power of collaboration is needed most of all with unprecedented levels of mentorship, confidence, relevance and maturity. I urge collaboration amongst Members. By empowering all to get over this hurdle, we are helping our industries to thrive.
I invite you to join IFEAT’s social media platforms and exchange with fellow Members and the IFEAT Secretariat. Do let us know your acts of solicitude. They will not go unnoticed!
In 43 years of existence, IFEAT has stood alongside its Members through the natural disasters that impacted naturals, regulatory upheavals and political challenges. We were able to do so because we put you, the Members, at the heart of our activities. With that commitment in mind, I am confident that we will overcome this challenging time as well.
Stay safe and strong.
Hussein A. Fakhry
IFEAT Executive Committee Chairman
Find out more about IFEAT
History of the 40 years of IFEAT!
Read Peter Greenhalgh’s “History of IFEAT” series. The full version in a book was given as a gift at the Athens Fortieth Anniversary Conference 2017. Each of these articles has been included in recent issues of IFEATWORLD.