On November 19, the Consulate General of Israel in Miami and Holland & Knight LLP hosted a Florida-Israel Agriculture Innovation Summit session focusing on how the agriculture industry has responded to the pandemic.
"The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted, among others, the importance of food security, globally and in the U.S., said Meital Stavinsky, co-chair of Holland & Knight’s Israel Practice and moderator of the session. "As consumers, during the shutdown, we experienced supply shortage in the supermarkets. Farmers on the other hand, had to deal with ensuring the health of their workers, and also strains on regular distribution channels, as result of shutdown of education institutions, the hospitality industry, restaurants, cruise lines, and theme parks who had no need of placing regular bulk orders during that time."
Zoom attendees heard from agriculture industry leaders, including Kent Shoemaker of Lipman Family Farms (Immokalee, Fla.), Naty Barak of Netafim (Israel) and Yemel Ortego of ADAMA (Israel), on how they are navigating disruptions caused by the pandemic. The executives discussed how their companies are meeting challenges such as: employee health and safety, restricted travel, disrupted distribution networks, and changes in demand and packaging. They also discussed the merits of government support during the pandemic, and more generally in driving innovation and collaboration.
"We are grateful to Commissioner Nikki Fried for the initiative to create an interactive dialogue between Israel and Florida to discuss innovative solutions in the agriculture field," said Galit Peleg, Interim Consul General of Israel in Miami.
Holland & Knight's Israel Team is led by former U.S. congressman Ron Klein and Meital Stavinsky. The team regularly advises Israeli clients operating in the United States, as well as companies and investors doing business in Israel, on a wide range of legal issues. Members of the team have a deep understanding of the Israeli marketplace and assist clients in identifying and maximizing investor and market opportunities.