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Risk in Context Podcast: Global food crisis compounds vulnerabilities, tests resilience plans

The COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, and other global challenges have impacted the availability and price of food and agricultural products around the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, and other global challenges have impacted the availability and price of food and agricultural products around the world. And countries, and companies, are facing additional risks — including labor shortages and port congestion — that are impacting their ability to get food and agricultural products to their destinations, compounding the global food crisis.

In this episode of Risk in Context, Maurits Quarles van Ufford, global commodity trading solutions leader within Marsh’s Credit Specialties Practice, talks to Marcus Baker, global head of Marsh’s Marine & Cargo Practice, Catherine Cyphus, head of resilience for the UK and Ireland within Marsh Advisory, and Nicholas Martin, who heads strategic risk consulting in the Pacific. They discuss how the ongoing food crisis is affecting the world and the actions being taken to minimize risk.

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Key takeaways

Confluence of risks is challenging companies’ risk management strategy.

The COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical challenges, climate transition, and other risks are affecting global food and agriculture supplies testing companies’ resilience plans.

Companies need to build resilience into core supply chains.

Current stresses on global food and agricultural systems have spotlighted vulnerabilities, underscoring the need for companies to prioritize resilience and consider regionalizing, shortening, and diversifying their supply chains.

Shift to just-in-case purchasing is creating new risks.

As companies look to protect themselves by importing more goods, they may encounter shipping capacity challenges, and face storage and aggregation risks.

About our speakers

Maurits Quarles van Ufford

Maurits Quarles van Ufford

Director, Global Commodity Trade Solutions

Maurits Quarles van Ufford joined Marsh in 2015 and leads the Global Commodity Trading Solutions team within Marsh’s Credit Specialties. For over 15 years, he has focused on working with commodity traders and their lenders in mitigating operational and financial risks in the areas of marine, trade credit, and political risk. As part of his global role, he is active in helping traders in their sustainability transition and working alongside insurers to support this.

Marcus Baker

Marcus Baker

Global Head, Marine, Cargo, & Logistics

  • United Kingdom

Marcus Baker is the Global Head of Marsh’s Marine, Cargo, & Logistics Practice, responsible for the business lines globally. He has more than 35 years’ 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

Catherine Cyphus

Head of Risk, Resilience, and Technology, UK

Based in London, Catherine Cyphus leads the Risk, Resilience and Technology Advisory team for the UK. She specializes in operational resilience, crisis management, and business continuity. As a risk and resilience professional, she has experience building resilience capability within organizations across the UK, Europe, and Australasia.

Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

Head of Strategic Risk Consulting, Pacific

Nicholas Martin heads Marsh’s strategic risk consulting in the Pacific, where he leads a 40-person consulting team across the region that delivers enterprise risk management, resilience, ESG, and cyber advisory services.

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