Among the many quotes attributed to Einstein, the following seems most pertinent as we look to the future: ‘’The significant challenges we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that we were at when we created them’. Undoubtedly as we move forward, both dealing and learning to live with the impact of the Covid virus, it will need very new thinking as the challenges ahead for the world economy are immense. Whatever new normal means, it will require a new paradigm as to how we both live and run our lives, and our business and economy.
Recently I attended a meeting of a farming organisation. The conversation and discussions were grim. Lockdown in the UK has impacted substantially on the its dairy sector, with many farmers’ outlets disappearing with the closure of restaurants, hotels and the like. There are concerns about the outcome of trade discussions, particularly with the USA, with fears of lower-quality imports. There are also similar misgivings about the Brexit discussions and what might eventually emerge from them. Then, of course, there has been the extreme weather. The very wet autumn and winter meant many crops were not sown. Winter wheat planting is well down. The spring did eventually arrive, which allowed spring sowings, only to be followed by an extremely dry period affecting germination badly. Projections on farming output in 2020 are not optimistic. It was feared that many farmers, faced with this and the impact and repercussions of the pandemic, will not survive.