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Fork in the road: impacts of climate change on our food supply

A report on current and growing risks and vulnerabilities in Australia’s food supply chain arising from climate change
Climate change Food production Sustainable agricultural production Agriculture Food industry and trade Supply chain Australia

Climate change is leading to a higher frequency and severity of extreme weather events that put supply chains at risk. These include floods, bushfires, and droughts. As climate change accelerates, risks to supply of food arising from extreme weather are growing.

Risks can also arise unexpectedly from causes other than global warming. What climate change does is raise the base level risk of extreme weather events – putting further pressure, like an additional weight on the scales, on the balance of risks faced in food supply every day. The likelihood of a combination of negative events that causes food outages and empty supermarket shelves is correspondingly higher.

Farmers, transport and storage companies, retailers and others in the supply chain can and do try to manage the many risks they face, including those that arise from climate change. However, the more risks there are, the more likely it is that there will be times when supply chain risk management plans will be overwhelmed and fail, and parts of Australia will run out of food. If climate change continues unabated this likelihood will become a certainty.

Related Information

Resilience in the Australian food supply chain https://apo.org.au/node/29673

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