When SARS-CoV-2 came around, we had to find a solution for the physical 4-day IFAMA 2020 Conference planned in the Rotterdam Doelen Theatre last June. We proposed to go digital and so it happened.

It has been a special experience. As I say in the video, I have never ever been three times a week to Nigeria. Because of IFAMA 2020 that happened, but without getting on a plane. A whole new network based on good intentions was born and led to an incredibly inspiring African based drone conference you haven't heard the last word about yet. I made a new and dear close friend, dr. Ikechi Agbugba. And so many more new African contacts are still waiting to turn into warm human relationships. As travelling is very pre 2020, so far it just happened over Whatsapp phone and ZOOM video.

Meeting with professor Ray Goldberg and his Harvard based PAPSAC-network has been a very special experience. Ray, now 94 years old, is still going strong. It is my great honor to have met him and been able to talk intimately to him on several occasions. That's why I dare to ask him: dear Ray, hang on for just a bit longer. We'll need the grease you are in a polarized world that won't stop with Biden taking over.

As part of IFAMA Goes Digital, we had a great web chat on data governance. As digitization in food is likely to impact nutrition, ecology and the food business even more than mechanisation, we may have contributed to something because of IFAMA 2020. Something was born out of it, as you'll see in January (stay tuned!).

We had yet another stimulating web chat on Trade and Logistics. That's another track we'll pursue between businesses and academia with the help of the province of Zuid-Holland and the City of Rotterdam.

We've kept quiet on something that happened in ZOOM-meetings elaborating on the EU's Farm to Fork strategy with scientists and investors who'd like to expand beyond that. The real thing is in connecting soil health and environmental resilience to human well being. A project between the US, France, China, Nigeria and the Netherlands is now developing.

I could never have dreamed all of this, when we started out IFAMA 2020 Goes Digital from a tree in the woods in the Ede-Wageningen area known as The Paradise. Yet it happened. It's on its way, vulnerable but nascent.

We'll keep you posted on Digital Food. We'll try to create the conditions for doing sound Soil to Stomach research, while respecting and producing Natural Capital in International Food Production and Trade & Logistics. Meanwhile we'll try to assist Africans getting ahead of white folks disputing what sustainability in practice really is!

Stay safe and don't despair, as we've only just rediscovered our vulnerability to make us stronger.

Merry Christmas & a happy New Year!