So… that was a strange year…

There are no words for this year. The expression stranger than fiction comes to mind. It was, in my estimation the longest year in memory, with so many events and happenings packed into its 52 weeks. It was also a year that absolutely flew by; since our first lockdown in March till the upcoming holidays, the days all seem blur into the same work-from-home, socially distant haze. Most of us will not enter 2021 unscathed by the Covid-19 pandemic in some way. Even if it’s just a case of Zoom meeting overdose,  ourselves or someone we know has had their health impacted in some way. But, in the midst of uncertainty and just plain bafflement, we must look deeper and learn the lessons that 2020 tried to teach us.

We watched foreign affairs with preoccupation: the rise of authoritarianism in multiple countries, the curtailing of free speech, fake and futile news, and a procession of strange events over which we had little control over. And at last we realise that the world is not well. 2020 was, in some ways, a tragic year, but it was a honest one, ate least. It showed us that we are a misstep away from a financial crisis, that nature holds us powerless in her grasp, and that we take the community we are in for granted. I personally think that we would be wise to look at 2020, not as an extraordinarily bad year, but as the culmination of several years of unaddressed problems.

Only that way we can make all the sacrifices and sorrows we went through mean something. And when bad things happen, like really bad things, they happen to all of us, no matter what race, religion or ideology. This should be the wake up call to bring us together and fight the forces that seek to separate us for political gain. In our humble opinion, of course.

Business wise, BY Foods was relatively lucky. The Food Service industry took a major blow and we struggled along with our partners with decreased footfall and a dramatic change to the whole channel. But retail surged, and in some ways it offset the damage. It was not a good year for us, but given the circumstances I venture to say it was the best year possible. We expanded our team by two. And now we have an independent, autonomous Quality Control department thanks to Ricardo; and our Marketing Department gained leverage and an increased turnover speed with Marta, and her help with both the strategy and the nuts and bolts of Marketing.  We got creative with the downtime and  created new pipelines for operations and after sales support. Plus a few more things, we really can’t go into here… yet.

But, it’s almost over – 2021 is right around the corner and it is our job to take what we got and look to the future. See you then!


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