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This report outlines the findings of an investigation into the resilience of Melbourne’s food system to climate and pandemic shocks and stresses.

Key findings:

  • Melbourne’s food system will face more frequent and severe shocks in future related to climate change, including fire, flood and drought
  • Melbourne’s food system faces a range of other shocks and stresses including pandemic, energy shocks and ecological stresses
  • The 2019-2020 bushfires in south-east Australia and the COVID-19 pandemic had impacts throughout the food system from production to consumption
  • Vulnerabilities in Melbourne’s food system include geographic and corporate concentration, long ‘just in time’ supply chains, insecure employment in food and farming and high levels of food loss and waste
  • The resilience of Melbourne’s food system is undermined by ongoing food insecurity in the region, which is exacerbated by shocks and stresses
  • Rising food insecurity during shocks and stresses is mainly addressed through emergency food relief, which is the responsibility of the charitable sector
  • Diversity is a key feature of resilient food systems – in the geographic locations that food is sourced from, the scale of food and farming enterprises, the types of enterprises that supply food and the types of food that are grown
  • Other features of resilient food systems include adaptation and innovation, decentralisation, and collaboration and networks
  • There is a need for long term planning for the resilience of food supplies that draws on the lessons learned from recent shocks to the food system, such as the 2019-2020 bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic
  • As the frequency and severity of shocks and stresses increases, there is a need for government leadership in food resilience planning at all levels of government, with a focus on the food security of those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of shocks and stresses
Related Information

Building the resilience of Melbourne's food system - a roadmap https://apo.org.au/node/318049

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