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The Global Food Crisis Is Testing Resilience Plans

Global food prices have increased significantly over the past two years, a crisis impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather events and geopolitical challenges. And companies and countries around the world are being faced with new risks, including a significant labor shortage, as they try to get food and agricultural products to their destinations.

In this episode of Risk in Context, Marsh’s Maurits Quarles van Ufford is joined by three Marsh colleagues: Marcus Baker, Catherine Cyphus, and Nicholas Martin. They discuss the ongoing food crisis and how it is affecting individuals across the world. They also share actions that organizations can take to address these risks and help minimize the effect on people.

On the situation in the UK:

Availability of feed, fuel, and fertilizer, in particular, are straining U.K. agriculture, drastically reducing the availability and access to food. … With the cost of fertilizer up 60%, we’ll likely see farmers reducing their fertilizer use and expecting smaller crops. And as a consequence, we’re seeing prices threatening to increase.

On labor challenges in Australia:

Australia is being impacted by the global staff shortage. Border closures due to COVID-19 and in particular, Australia’s very restrictive border closures, have continued to have an impact on the ability to attract labor into the Australian market. And these restrictions have resulted in an inability to operate machinery, take crops to market, and then export overseas. 

On the shipping industry:

Just under 15% of the world’s crew are either Ukrainian or Russian. And losing them from an industry that’s already a little challenged has been difficult. Because most of them are officers rather than ratings, so it has a slightly biased influence on the availability of crew. 

But it’s not just about the ships. We’ve got issues in many ports around the world where you’ve just got a lack of qualified people operating cranes, actually just operating things around ports.

Marsh’s Risk in Context podcast series helps listeners better understand key risks, build more effective insurance programs, and think creatively about risk and resilience.

Maurits Quarles van Ufford

Global Commodity Trading Solutions Leader at Marsh

Maurits is a global commodity trading solutions leader at Marsh.

Marcus Baker

Global Head of Marsh Marine and Cargo Practice

Marcus Baker is the global head of Marsh’s Marine and Cargo Practice, responsible for the marine business lines globally. He has more than 35 years of experience in the industry, traveling extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia, and has been involved in all aspects of global marine and energy insurance. With a successful record of business production and development in these areas, he has been instrumental in developing innovative marine products and solutions placed in the London, European, and global Insurance markets.

Catherine Cyphus

Director, Risk & Resilience at Marsh Advisory

Catherine Cyphus is a risk and resilience professional with consulting and practitioner experience across the UK, EMEA, Asia Pacific and North America. She specializes in the protective disciplines, specifically operational resilience with extensive experience in risk management, crisis management, business continuity, supply chain resilience and cybersecurity. She works across sectors including but not limited to: financial services, energy, media and entertainment and retail.

Nicholas Martin

Head of Strategic Risk Consulting, Pacific at Marsh

Nicholas is an experienced risk specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the finance, telecommunications and utilities industries. Skilled in risk management, security strategy, crisis management, emergency management and business continuity planning.

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