Conference at the Embassy - June 18

On June 18th, after 3 months without any face-to-face events, the Chamber was finally able to organize its first physical event at the Embassy.

Due to health and sanitary reasons, the number of guests was limited to 30 participants. Therefore, we also broadcasted the conference via Zoom to allow all of our members to participate either physically or virtually.

After an introduction by the Ambassador, three speakers were introduced on the scene to discuss how their company had managed the COVID crisis.

During her introduction, the French Ambassador, Caroline Ferrari highlighted that 2019 has been a record year in terms of Foreign Direct Investment from Denmark to France.

- Group Bel with Aubry Degroote, Country Manager Bel Nordic, explained how Bel managed their cheese stock.
The dairy industry faced harsh challenges during COVID-19, which meant that Bel had to adapt their strategy to ensure sufficient stock levels.
In March demand increased by more than 30% mainly resulting from panic buying across the world, followed by a strong deloading effect in April and May, which were difficult to foresee. Bel deployed a crisis cell and a business continuity plan, adapted their production line, and had an agile model in their supply chain. To ensure that their capacity could meet demand, they were measuring the flow of goods each week. From a global point of view the company held meetings on a country level where they could share ways of working to better anticipate delayed reactions from country to country that would affect demand.  
Within the Nordics the snacking products are core products in terms of sales. As schools and public institutions were closed due to COVID-19, demand changed from snacking products to products that were suitable for families. From a supply chain standpoint, the plan was reviewed and it was crucial to be close to the customer and follow the rotation of products and eventually change to other products.

As a result, Bel had an extra stock of products with a near expiration date, which they donated through the organization Fødevarebanken.

- Les Grands Chais de France with Annaï Salazar, National Account Manager Denmark, Iceland & Greenland, told us more about how they managed the crisis and about their strategy for the end of the year.
The Scandinavian wine market has been stable in terms of rotation of products until the COVID-19 crisis.
The headquarters of Les Grands Chais de France are in Alsace, which was one of the areas the most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. To ensure the safety of their employees, production had to be decreased by 50%.
From March they faced a challenging and unpredictable period due to issues with longer lead time and change in buying patterns. In Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland people were afraid that stores would close and therefore they were buying more. In Scandinavia, wine is considered a luxury good that is used for celebrations and special occasions, which means that in times of crisis demand decreases.
Now, the rotation of products is back to a level of 80% compared to only 5% in the beginning of the crisis.

- Saint-Gobain Nordic with David Molho, CEO Nordics and Baltics, explained how their Nordics organization has managed the crisis.
David indicated that the impact of COVID-19 on construction activity has been limited so far. Construction projects continued, and Saint-Gobain adapted very quickly to the new situation and speeded up change management.
Before mid-March, hygiene rules were implemented everywhere, all distribution outlets in Denmark were equipped with protection equipment and working from home was implemented.
The digital transformation has significantly accelerated, with shorter decision-making processes and fast deployment of new tools within the company. 
Both internal processes, operation of our factories, interaction with our customers in outlets and on-line were revisited and improved. 
And the extra focus that has been put on health has also contributed to drastically reduce the number of working accidents, divided by 2 compared to last year.

Before the conference, our annual General Assembly was organized where the annual report and accounts of 2019 were validated, and the 2020 budget was approved.

For our members, watch or rewatch the conference broadcasted via ZOOM using the link below: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/5Nd8K7r70XJLeYXAw1H_Rf8hQK78eaa8gSYdrKYLxEhuh6-2xz38xUmxvEy9LUNQ 
If you do not have the password, please contact us and we will send it to you. 

Thank you very much to the French Ambassador for allowing us to organize this event at the Embassy. Also, a big thank you to the speakers for sharing your experiences during the crisis.
Thanks a lot to Les Grands Chais de France, for offering the wines served during the networking cocktail organized after the conference.

It was a pleasure to meet you all again and we look forward to seeing you after the summer with a busy program of events. You will find more information on our site during the summer.

Please find some pictures of the conference below.

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