Latest Briefing in Sustainability and Communities
There is growing concern that food systems should be more resilient to a variety of shocks (e.g., economic, originating from climate change). Although there is plenty of academic interest in resilient supply chains, the extent of research into what this means for the upstream part of the agricultural supply chain, particularly at the farm level, is rather more limited.
Implicit in the definition of resilience are the notions of flexibility and adaptability. Thus, a product supply is resilient if it is capable: first, to respond to disruptions due to unexpected events and recover from them, and second, to adapt to long term trends in society. Thus, the supply of an agricultural product that has developed its resilience is better able to support, for instance, the unpredictability of domestic or international trade, thereby achieving a competitive advantage through being able to recover more quickly than competitors when an adverse event arises.
Potatoes is a particular case due to (1) it was not subject to a Common Agricultural Policy’s ‘Common Market Organisation’, and therefore, its evolution has been more subject to market forces; (2) together with cereals and oilseed rape, it is one of the most important crops in UK agriculture, estimated at £940 million (£287 million in Scotland) by Defra for 2013; and (3), weather conditions are a constant source of short term shocks as they significantly affect yields, total production, prices and crop profitability.
The purpose of this note is to provide an overview of major trends for the sector to infer from them the sustainability and resilience of the supply of potatoes in the UK.Read more
Published on 19 March 2015 in Sustainability and Communities
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