Without a doubt, today health care professionals and technicians constitute “the front line.” Brave, unconditional, and with an admirable calling for public service, they have been risking their health and that of their loved ones to help those who have been victims of the spread of the coronavirus. As a society, we must be able to show them our gratitude and appreciation, while at the same time we must reform our public policies to facilitate their work, with more resources for their development across our country.

There is another sector that anonymously, without being noticed, is putting all its effort and dedication into assisting all those who are confined at their homes to avoid a wider spread of the disease. This “rearguard” I am referring to is the food sector. More than 165,000 farmers, from Arica to Tierra del Fuego, who are completely committed to helping us get everything we need. Vegetables, milk, fruit, meat, all the products we use on a daily basis are still available and will continue to be thanks to the efforts of hundreds of thousands of people who make up the food chain. Farmers, transporters, intermediaries, farmers market workers, supermarket workers, public officials. All of them are part of the distribution chain, and they are carrying out a critical task to help the entire population under quarantine. As a society, we must be grateful for this rearguard. Chile is a country with unique conditions for food production, and it has been the farmers’ quiet effort that has allowed the growth of an instrumental sector for the development of our society.

Taking care of our agriculture and our rural sectors must be a priority in our public policy. Protecting rural territories and their people, while preserving our natural resources, is currently our obligation as a society in order to take care of ourselves today and for generations to come.

Juan Carlos Domínguez

President of the Chilean Meat Exporters’ Association