In 2020, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was Atria's most significant risk event. Its social, market economy and public health repercussions have been felt in operations since March 2020. The significance of the risk has fluctuated both in terms of business areas and seasons. News of vaccines in the fourth quarter did not yet have a risk-reducing impact. The mutability of the virus caused some countries to increase coronavirus restrictions and protection measure.
Throughout the pandemic, Atria has invested in safeguarding the health and working capacity of its personnel and maintaining its production reliability. Atria's various units have adjusted operations to meet changing circumstances and demand for products.
Although Atria has incurred some additional expenses owing to hygiene requirements and operational adjustments, the impacts on result and cash flow are moderate. The financial position has also remained strong.
States have revitalised the economy by providing support and stimulus packages during the pandemic.
In Finland, Atria's operations have been subsidised by the 2.6 percentage point reduction in the employer's TyEL contribution from 1 May to 31 December 2020. In Sweden, state has paid remuneration for employee sick leaves.
Vaccination programmes in various countries were rolled out in early 2021. However, the time it takes to roll out vaccinations, the efficacy of the various vaccines and the quick mutability of the virus mean that the impacts of the pandemic on Atria's result, balance and cash flow in 2021 remain difficult to forecast.
Atria's ordinary food production risks are associated with the quality, availability, safety and price of ingredients and preparations. The African swine fever, which has been found in multiple European countries and in China and Russia, affected the price, demand and supply of pork around the world. Considering the risk of African swine fever spreading to Finland, Atria employs prevention measures at its own production plants and contract production farms. The poultry market experienced uncertainty in the final months of the year, as cases of avian flu were detected in Europe.
Data security questions gained increasing attention as a societal issue in the second half of 2020. Fraudulent behaviour, data breaches and data leaks can also target Atria's operations. Every effort is made to prevent such behaviour and to protect the systems from them through systematic surveillance and security-enhancing measures.
Personnel is a resource of the utmost importance to Atria. Personnel risks are managed with preventive measures focusing on occupational safety and personnel healthcare as well as training provision. The purpose of these measures is, on one hand, to safeguard personnel well-being and competence and, on the other, to guarantee successful implementation of Atria's strategy and attainment of the strategic objectives.
A more detailed description of the risks related to Atria's operations and their management is featured in the Annual Report.