Climate Change Adaptation

Recent weather events – in the UK and in various other parts of the world – have highlighted the extent to which the global food system is vulnerable to external climatic shocks and changes.

This can impact a food and drink manufacturer's business in a number of ways:

  1. Direct Operations : food and drink manufacturing sites in the UK can be affected by flooding, storms, water and heat stress which can have direct impacts on food processing.
  2. Supply Chain Logistics : disruption to transport infrastructure, suppliers, employees and customers as a result of a changing climate can impact a food and drink manufacturer's production ability.
  3. Long Term Supply and Demand : as the climate changes the location of where raw materials are sourced from may move and consumers' purchasing habits may alter to reflect changing temperatures where they live.

Food and drink production is one of the most weather dependent economic activities we have, which means climate change poses a significant challenge to our future ability to produce.

The food and drink chain not only has a role to play in mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions to help minimise further changes – which FDF members are delivering through our Five-fold Environmental Ambition – but, in the face of an uncertain climate, production practices will have to be adapted to increase food production sustainably. This is vital if we are to meet the needs of a growing population.

Resources for the Food and Drink Businesses

To help businesses address the impacts of climate change the Climate Ready service at the Environment Agency, with support from FDF, has published a number of pieces of guidance:

Operations

Prepared by the Environment Agency's Climate Ready Support Service and Ricardo-AEA. The Business Case for Adaptation methodology is still a draft document. The Climate Ready Support Service would welcome your feedback on the methodology and responses to the questions set out in the accompanying guidance. Please send any comments to: climatechange@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Supply Chain

Assessing and managing climate change risks in supply chains

Prepared by the Environment Agency's Climate Ready Support Service and consultancy Acclimatise

Sustainable Sourcing: Five Steps Towards Managing Supply Chain Risk

FDF's Sustainable Sourcing guide will also help companies assess the supply chain risks posed by climate change

General Resilience

Resilience in society: infrastructure, communities and businesses

The Government also provides information and guidance to businesses on wider resilience issues


Last reviewed: 03 Dec 2015