Climate change and climate variability pose high risks to the agri-food business as it threatens ecosystems and impacts the natural capital on which companies depend. Recognizing the problem, identifying climate related risks in the supply chain and responding with adaptation measures can help agri-food businesses to minimize their risks and strengthen resilience.
Rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and more severe weather events are being observed. Agri-food companies have already suffered weather –related impacts in recent years, and most have seen an intensification of such impacts. Meanwhile, farming- and other communities on which the agri-food businesses depend for their supplies of agricultural commodities, raw materials and work force are also highly affected.
Recognizing the problem, identifying climate related risks in the supply chain and responding with adaptation measures can help agri-food businesses to minimize their risks and strengthen resilience. Responding to the effects of climate change will also provide opportunities for innovative climate resilient products and services and new markets. For example, insurance agencies are already developing innovative climate-insurance products for communities at increased risk of weather-related natural disasters. New water-use efficient irrigation technologies are being developed and deployed to address increased water stress.
Climate resilience in agricultural supply chains is a complex and relatively new field of study. The uncertainty around climate change in combination with the complexity of these food chains encompassing multiple countries, large number of farmers and individual organisations, and an extensive transport network makes it difficult to decide on where to act, with whom and how? However, at the same time a growing number of actors in the supply would like to know more about the likely impact of climate change and variability on their business. They are very much interested in adaptation strategies that mitigate climate related risks, are cost effective and/or increase their business opportunities. WEnR can offer a service that meets these requirements and interests.
Objectives of the project
The project aims to bring together climate related assessment tools currently in use within WEnR, align and further develop these into an easy to apply and user-oriented climate risk assessment service for increasing climate resilience in agricultural supply chains. Specifically the climate risk assessment service will:
- Raise awareness amongst actors in a supply chain (food) about the likely risks and (social, economic and environmental) effects of climate change on their business;
- Support actors in the supply chain in making resource efficient and climate smart (investment) decisions;
- Support actors in transforming adaptation strategies into a business case and/or integrate adaption into daily business management.
The service will target (actors in) agricultural supply chains and agri-food networks whose business and/or livelihood heavily relies on water. Change in occurrence and intensity of rainfall and increasing temperature pose significant risk on the supply of agricultural commodities and raw materials, workforce and will increase costs. The service will be user –oriented and therefore co-created in close collaboration with clients in ongoing projects related to the agri-food business. These ongoing (and planned) projects form living labs in which we will test prototypes.