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Ladies and gentlemen,
For several months we have been seeing the Covid-19 pandemic develop. It is clearly a global health crisis, with more than 180 countries affected. It is unprecedented in its scope, but also in the way it has been managed. This crisis, which began in January, has accelerated in March and will unfortunately continue still for several weeks in France and for several months in countries affected later.
This crisis concerns all of us as individuals. It has suddenly entered into the very heart of our personal and professional lives. Our thoughts are first with those who have been the most seriously affected: the victims, the sick, and their families.
The top priority is to protect the population. From the outset of the crisis, Limagrain has being doing everything possible at its sites to safeguard the health and safety of its employees, customers, and all of its stakeholders, and to help slow the epidemic by adopting barrier gestures, social distancing, and the other restrictions required by authorities.
The second priority is to take action to ensure that this health and economic crisis does not also become a food crisis. Health and food are now more than ever a central concern. The ongoing activity of Limagrain, an agricultural cooperative and seed company, helps to ensure future food security throughout the world. We know how fundamentally important this mission is, and we are proud to fulfill it with you in all of the regions where we have a presence.
Because delivering ingredients, flour, bread and pastries in France and Europe today participates in feeding our fellow citizens now. Because providing the farmers throughout the entire world with seeds today means enabling them to produce food in the coming months. Finally, because creating new seed varieties today means contributing to feeding the world in the coming years.
Our production factories, research centers, and logistics centers are working hard to continue to produce and distribute field seeds, vegetable seeds, garden products, and cereal products. Limagrain Field Seeds, Hazera, Vilmorin-Mikado, HM.Clause, Limagrain Ingredients, Jacquet Brossard, Vilmorin Jardin – our organizations are fully committed to serving their customers while fully maintaining safety for all. The Cooperative for its part is focused on spring sowings, especially corn and sunflower base seeds for seed production, as well as on delivering seeds to our Group and external customers.
It is thanks to the unfailing commitment of our farmers and our employees working throughout the world on farms, in factories, research sites, or at home, that today we are able to meet the challenges created by this crisis. Every day, the men and women of Limagrain demonstrate their commitment, resilience, and adaptability. We are deeply grateful.
This crisis will have underlined the strategic role of agriculture and agri-food. Beyond the end of the crisis, lasting consequences will modify our economic and societal model, which will need to be reconsidered, even if these consequences are still impossible to quantify today.
Our values of progress, perseverance and cooperation have never been so relevant as they are now. Limagrain will continue to promote and embody these values, both today and in the future.