In recent months, two major disruptions – floods and COVID – have converged to break down our supply chains, leading to more expensive farm inputs, disrupted transport and struggles getting farm produce into supermarkets. If climate change continues unchecked, multiple large-scale disruptions occurring at the same time will become common.
Farmers can adapt and we will continue to, but we’re already copping it and adaptation can only go so far in the face of extreme climate events.
Farmers for Climate Action has released the Fork in the Road report, which shows that climate change is driving up the price of food and making farming more difficult and unpredictable.
The report says that climate change is cutting food production, disrupting transport and increasing pests and diseases, making life even more uncertain for farmers. Bank loans and insurance are becoming harder to get, and more expensive. All of this makes climate change a serious food security issue – on our current path, we could regularly see empty supermarket shelves.
You can help us make this a national priority for politicians and businesses all the way through the food supply chain, by joining our movement of farmers and regional leaders.
Gavin Scurr is the Managing Director of Piñata Farms, a family farming business with locations in the NT, north Queensland, the Sunshine Coast, Tasmania and others. They are Australia’s largest pineapple producer and they also grow mangoes, strawberries and other speciality berries.
Their business is already dealing with the impacts of the pandemic now, and they’re also looking ahead to changing seasons and growing conditions. They are spreading geographically to manage climate risk, as well as higher insurance and energy costs for refrigeration in transport.
Climate uncertainty is putting pressure on our supply chains and farm businesses like Pinata Farms. Australian farmers will adapt and continue to grow food for all Australians, but we need industry and governments to adopt strong climate policy so that farmers like Gavin have reliable supply chains and predictable farming seasons.